But Rick noticed that only Nice Uh Oh Back Again Back To Black Years Stack The Wing Shirt a tiny portion of the grant was actually going to those folks–the majority fueled the MFA machine. And so he realized that he could start his own non-profit that would do a better job supporting underrepresented artists and audiences. Almost 20 years later, Project Row Houses is a powerhouse organization combining art, civic action, public housing, and social change. Project Row Houses does receive foundation funding–but there are a lot of projects with comparably powerful community impact that do not. Rick’s story makes me wonder: what could arts institutions be doing to incubate and foster innovative work by and for underrepresented audiences? Instead of Rick’s experience with the MFA turning him off of traditional institutions, is there a way that experience could have been a positive launch point.
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The Pittsburgh Children’s Museum leads the Charm Bracelet effort to provide micro-granting throughout Pittsburgh’s Northside neighborhood to enhance Nice Uh Oh Back Again Back To Black Years Stack The Wing Shirts community vibrancy, health, and learning. The Children’s Museum is functionally serving as a fiscal sponsor for small programs–peer mentoring for teen girls, public art, a farmer’s market–that promote social justice and cultural engagement for low-income people. I find it incredible that in the midst of an economic recession, the Children’s Museum (and other institutions in Pittsburgh) have stayed committed to regranting for social change in this way. What can you do in your own organization to ensure that your programs, budgets, and priorities match your goals for demographic participation, civic engagement, and social justice? What do you think funders.