The Mosaic Network and Fund in The New York Community Trust Grants $4.5 million to Arts Nonprofits of Color in New York
(February 4, 2020) NEW YORK – A first-of-its-kind collaborative that aims to provide more equitable funding for African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, and Native American (ALAANA) arts groups in New York City has awarded $4.5 million in grants.
The Mosaic Network and Fund in The New York Community Trust, a collaboration between 19 foundations, recently committed $4.5 million to fund 27 arts groups that are led by, created for, and accountable to ALAANA people.
Three-year grants ranging from $21,000 to $300,000 will help arts groups commission and develop artists of color, build archives to preserve significant cultural assets, expand training and education programs for young people, and strengthen their operations.
A NEW MODEL OF FUNDER COLLABORATIVE: This new effort—the Mosaic Network and Fund—is guided by both funders and arts practitioners, and both artists and nonprofit leaders in the field. Acknowledging historical underinvestment in ALAANA cultures and communities, it aims to increase philanthropic support to collective grantmaking and facilitate new connections between funders and prospective grantees. In 2019, it created a learning network of 160 leaders of ALAANA arts nonprofits and funders, with hopes of building relationships over time.
ARTIST AND FUNDER LEADERSHIP: An advisory committee of funders and ALAANA arts leaders conceived the Mosaic Network and Fund’s goals and designed its activities, including the three-year grant program. A larger committee of nine funders and nine practitioners unaffiliated with any of the applicants led the proposal review and selection process.
“The initial impulse for the Mosaic Network & Fund was to increase opportunities for New York City-based ALAANA cultural organizations and funders to work together so that our entire cultural community might thrive,” said Maurine Knighton, program director for the arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. “We sought to forge connections where none exist, strengthen them where they do, and build meaningful relationships that could lead to more resources for the work of cultural organizations of color.
Kerry McCarthy, vice president of philanthropic initiatives and co-chair of the Mosaic Network and Fund, said, “Mosaic has brought together donors to make decisions in partnership with the very community we seek to serve. Its promising philanthropic practice fosters a spirit of collegiality through its public programs and the inclusion of community representation in the grant program’s design and selection processes. Mosaic doesn’t just talk about equity in the arts, it concretely advances equity in the arts.”
Review committee members included artists and curators such as Aizzah Fatima, Zora Howard, Mario Martinez, Diya Vij, and Betty Yu; independent consultants Sandi Haynes, Hallie Hobson, and Bill Terry; and funder representatives Conrhonda E. Baker, Leah Krauss, Sara Elisa Miller, Alexis Ortiz, Kira Pritchard, Edwin Torres, Salem Tsegaye, and Deborah Velazquez, among others.
The response among arts organizations to the grants shows the incredible need that exists for this type of support...