UPDATE: All funding has been expended for the 2022 grant cycle.
The grantmaking component of Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation’s Arts Build Community initiative supports the testing of new ideas to increase community engagement through the arts and creative process, especially among communities of color, youth, immigrants and residents who would like to participate in arts and culture programming but face challenges such as cost, transportation and disconnection from the arts in the Berkshires. BTCF seeks to aid innovation among Berkshire County nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and community organizations that present significant arts and cultural programming as they launch new projects, expand existing programs, collaborate with other organizations and pivot to virtual and socially distanced events due to the pandemic.
WHO CAN APPLY
Nonprofit arts and cultural organizations and organizations with arts and cultural programming in Berkshire County
BTCF will allocate funding to projects sponsored by Berkshire County nonprofit organizations that test emerging ideas to more effectively engage residents in the arts and creative process. The foundation encourages resident engagement in the research, design and implementation of the projects. A fast turnaround of three weeks from application to funding disbursement will allow ideas to be acted upon when energy and opportunity exist within an organization and a community.
Proposed projects must be designed to reduce barriers identified by BTCF’s community-based participatory research, which include cost, transportation, social discomfort, time constraints, and fear of rejection based on race and social class.
This may include, but is not limited to:
- Research to further inform your programmatic strategies in the arts and pilot a project informed by your research
- Expansion of or change in a current arts program or event with the goal of increasing access or addressing an identified barrier
- Targeted marketing strategies to reach new arts audiences
- A pilot project addressing any of the barriers noted above
- Be incorporated as a 501(c)(3) organization or operate under the fiscal sponsorship of a 501(c)(3) organization.
- Have operated with active arts and/or community engagement programming.
- Be based in and serve residents of Berkshire County. Fiscal sponsors may be located outside of the county.
- Not include in its by-laws or practice discrimination against a person or group on the basis of age, race, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation or religious belief.
- Have as its mission a focus on arts and creativity or is an organization for which an arts and creativity program can further its core mission.
Grant awards will range up to $7,500 per organization. The total amount available for all awards is $60,000.
The application process opens on March 1 and will be considered on a rolling basis until all funds are expended.
Applications will be reviewed by Berkshire Taconic staff using the following criteria:
- Emphasis on arts and creativity as a program strategy
- Readiness of the organization to implement and learn from the proposed project
- Potential impact of the project on the residents with whom it engages
- Demonstrated ability of the organization to implement change and grow
- BTCF staff anticipates responding within three weeks of application submission and disbursing funds within five weeks of submission.
- The foundation expects projects to be completed and reported on within six months of receiving funding.
- To enable innovative new ideas to be considered in response to community needs, there is a rolling deadline with applications reviewed on a first-submitted, first-reviewed basis until grant monies are expended.
- Please contact BTCF before submitting a grant to be sure funds are still available within this track.
BTCF expects that new ideas for community engagement will be incubated and tested, leading to positive results in the community, greater awareness of what works, and key lessons that can inform additional program development.
Additional desired outcomes include:
- Increased engagement in a wide range of cultural activities by communities of color, youth, immigrants and/or residents who would like to participate in arts and culture programming but face challenges such as cost, transportation and disconnection from the arts in the Berkshires
- New and enhanced collaborations among arts and cultural organizations, community groups and residents aspiring to greater participation in the arts
- More high-quality strategies and programs that engage diverse audiences in the community
- Increased capacity of organizations to continue to design and implement these strategies and programs
All funds have been expended
How To Apply
All funds have been expended for the 2022 grant cycle