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Collective Imagination for Spatial Justice

Grants to Massachusetts Artists and Cultural Organizers
to Collaborate on Art Projects that Promote Equity and Justice

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) and Barr Foundation

Deadline Date:

10/18/21

Description:

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Grants of up to $5,000 to Massachusetts collaborative teams of artists, cultural organizers, culture bearers, and community-based organizations for art project planning. Funding is intended to support the development of projects that promote justice and equity in public art. Priority will be given to teams that are led or co-led by BIPOC artists.

Collective Imagination for Spatial Justice is one of NEFA’s grant programs supporting artists in the field of public art. The program strengthens collaborations to support the work to collectively imagine creative, impactful, accountable public art. Grants will support teams of creatives, cultural organizers, and community collaborators to do the important work of imagining public art that fosters and contributes to more just futures for public spaces and public culture. 

The work of imagination is a journey. Collective Imagination for Spatial Justice grants aim to support teams on this journey. And more specifically, this grant aims to fund Collective Imagination Teams that are dreaming up public art that can help others see, feel, experience and imagine spatial justice now, while all are still on this collective journey towards realizing more just futures for public spaces and public culture.

Collective Imagination Journey Funding Criteria and Priorities

  • Assemble the Collective Imagination Team. Priority will be given to teams that are: 
    • Share in NEFA’s values and commitment to the work of dismantling the legacies of racism, anti-Blackness, and white supremacy culture.
    • Are led or co-led by artists, particularly BIPOC artists. The path to dismantling the legacies of racism and white supremacy culture includes centering BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color)-led creative exploration and expression in public spaces. 
    • Are rooted in community and/or demonstrate deep relationship to place – particularly rural places and/or places where folks are experiencing/have experienced displacement.
    • Are built on trust and accountability. Artists are collaborators and co-conspirators on this journey, not saviors.
  • Know where the team is starting and why. Be as specific as possible. 
    • Public spaces are not neutral. And public art made in public spaces is not neutral. What has brought the team to this moment of exploration and imagination, and why now? 
    • Examples may include but are not limited to: Creatively responding to a controversial monument in the community – exploring what might it look like to temporarily decolonize and/or indigenize a space, exploring what Black joy, grief, healing, celebration and creative expression in public may look, sound, and feel like as a way of healing cultural norms of anti-Blackness in public spaces, or figuring out how to safely foster a sense of community in the public square during this extended moment of social distancing. Note: These are just a few examples and are not meant to be prescriptive.
    • Priority will be given to teams that focus on: 
      • The intersectionality of spatial justice and racial justice 
      • Disrupting harmful historic narratives that uphold social and structural inequities 
      • Decolonizing and/or indigenizing public spaces 
      • Honoring the integrity of the people, places, stories, and ideas – past, present, and future- engaged in the process
  •  Know what the team needs (to get started). 
    • Road Map. Budget. Resources. 
    • How will this funding support the team's collective journey (budget/budget narrative)? What are the tentative plans? Are there other resources that the team will “take” on this journey (books, readings, mentors, guiding principles, etc.)? Remember to honor team member's time as collaborators. The Foundation also recognizes the rapidly changing times of this pandemic and plans may evolve with time. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 191549

Estimated Size of Grant:

Collective Imagination for Spatial Justice grants range from $2,000 - $5,000.

Term of Contract:

Grantees will have six months from the beginning of the grant to do the work of collective imagination.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants will be small teams (2-5 collaborators) that meet the following eligibility criteria:

Lead Applicant must be a Massachusetts-based artist, creative, culture bearer, cultural organizer, and/or community-based collective or organization.
- Lead applicant may be individuals, fiscally sponsored collectives, and 501c3 organizations.
- Individual applicants and payees must be 18+ years old.
- Organizations/Collectives applying may be a 501c3, fiscally sponsored, or a collective of individuals.
- Note: Collective Imagination for Spatial Justice Grants are taxable income to individual recipients and reportable to the IRS. Grantees will receive a 1099 from NEFA.

The Collective Imagination Team must include 1-4 additional collaborators: artists, creatives, culture bearers, cultural organizers, and/or community-based collectives or organizations.
- Recognizing the intersectionality of artists’ identities, the Foundation asks that artist(s) are among your Collective Imagination Team either as the lead applicant or as additional collaborator(s).
- Additional collaborators may be based outside of Massachusetts.

Interest and commitment to the work of collective imagination:
- Commitment to imagining public art that fosters and/or contributes to a more racially and spatially just version of what is possible in public spaces.

Not Eligible:
- Lead applicant is not based in Massachusetts.
- Project-specific funding requests. Collective Imagination Grants intend to strengthen collaborations and support this necessary work of collectively imagining together, before diving into creating impactful, accountable public art. If you have a specific project that you are ready to implement, please consider applying for a Public Art for Spatial Justice Grant.
- Current Collective Imagination for Spatial Justice grantee (lead applicant) who has not completed their respective grantee report.

Please note: The work of imagination is a journey. Project deliverables are not expected or required to begin this journey.  This is NOT a project grant.

Pre-Application Information:

The deadline for Collective Imagination for Spatial Justice is October 18, 2021.

Grantees will have six months from the beginning of the grant to do the work of collective imagination.

Reminder: Collective Imagination for Spatial Justice grants are taxable income to individual recipients and reportable to the IRS. All grantees will receive a 1099 from NEFA.

A complete grantee report is due 40 days after the imagination journey is completed. Grantees who do not submit a complete grantee report on time will not be eligible for Collective Imagination for Spatial Justice OR Public Art for Spatial Justice grants.

If you are applying for a Collective Imagination for Spatial Justice and a Public Art for Spatial Justice grant in the same grant round, each application will be reviewed independent of each other and funding is not guaranteed (i.e. you may be funded for one but not the other).

Spatial Justice Grants Webinar 2021: https://www.nefa.org/news/watch-spatial-justice-grants-webinar-2021

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Online application portal:
https://nefaorg.force.com/grants/FGM_Portal__CommunitySignin?startURL=%2Fgrants

Contact Information:
Kim Szeto
Program Director, Public Art
kszeto@nefa.org
617-865-1840

Kamaria Carrington
Program Coordinator, Public Art
kcarrington@nefa.org
617-865-1837

NEFA accepts grant applications via an online form. If you have accessibility needs for an alternate format or process for completing the application, please contact:
Daniela Jacobson
Accessibility Coordinator
djacobson@nefa.org
617-865-1825

New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA)
1000 Washington Street, Second Floor
Boston, MA 02118
T 617-951-0010
info@nefa.org

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Massachusetts

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