Bartol Grantee Spotlight: Philadelphia Young Playwrights

As part of an ongoing Q&A series, we will be getting to know the Bartol Foundation’s 2018 grantees. Since 1987, Philadelphia Young Playwrights (PYP) has partnered with educators to bring the transformative power of playwriting into classrooms and community settings across Greater Philadelphia. They received a $5,000 Bartol grant to support their core program of in-classroom playwriting residencies.

These questions were answered by several PYP staff members.

 

What revs you up to go to work in the morning?

Knowing the impact this work has on young people, who much like me, needed something different to help them achieve.

What is the coolest thing a participant in your program ever said to you?

At the end of Summer Playwrights Community—an advanced playwriting workshop here at PYP—a student shared, “Thanks for helping me realize what I want to do with my life.” Last year another said, “Resident Playwrights saved my life.” Our students like to make me cry.

What is the most important thing you do to help your teaching artists do their best work?

Our trainings in trauma-informed practice. Our students often right about really hard-hitting issues, and often personal issues, so we need to look at their pieces from a human lens as well as a dramaturgical lens. Some of our students really dig into the craft and structure of playwriting, but others need to get their narrative down on the page and have it seen, heard, and affirmed. It’s critical that our teaching artists are able to tell the difference.

What is the best tip you can give to someone doing arts education programs like yours?

Allow the student creator to frame and lead their own feedback process. When the creator begins the feedback session by sharing their goal and the questions they already have, it immediately shifts the mindset of those giving feedback to a place of helping to serve that creator rather than offer forward ideas that match their own interests and aesthetic.

If you could magically change one thing to make your program better, what would it be?

Two teaching artists in every classroom!

Best. Snack. Ever.

Chocolate. Covered. Pretzels.

Bartol Grantee Spotlight: Enchantment Theatre Company

Photo credit: enchantmenttheatre.org.

 

As part of an ongoing Q&A series, we will be getting to know the Bartol Foundation’s 2018 grantees. Enchantment Theatre Company has created original theatre for young audiences and families for more than 35 years, and inspires children to “dream, explore, think, and connect through imaginative storytelling onstage and in the classroom.” They received a $5,000 Bartol grant to support their theatre residency at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf.

These questions were answered by Sara Nye, Communications and Development Manager, and Jennifer Blatchley Smith, Artistic Director – Literary and Education.

 

When do you know your work is making a difference?

Sara: A crucial part of Enchantment Theatre’s Arts in Education Program is our in-school theatre residencies, in which two teaching artists teach a group of approximately 15-20 students over the course of several months. Time and again, we hear stories from our teaching artists about the moment when a particular residency student went from being hesitant or shy to becoming comfortable enough with expressing themselves that they tried a new skill or overcame a challenge. That is when I know we are making a difference in the lives of these children. That we are enabling them to be better communicators and collaborators is one of the program results of which I’m most proud.

 

What is the most important thing you do to help your teaching artists do their best work?

Jennifer: Yearly teaching artist retreats certainly help us do our best work. These retreats get everyone together in one room to share ideas, revisit the theatre modes we use in the classroom, plan for the year ahead, and inspire one another.

 

What is the best tip you can give to someone doing arts education programs like yours?

Jennifer: Be prepared but be flexible. Taking the time to listen and adapting to the unexpected can be the best learning experience for everyone—school administrators and teachers, arts organization staff, and teaching artists alike.

 

What is your favorite field trip? (Real or imagined.)

Sara: My favorite field trip is when our Enchantment actors bring an Enchantment Everywhere regional touring production into one of our partner schools. It’s a great way to continue our connection with the students currently engaged in a theatre residency at that school. It’s like a field trip in reverse—we get to come to you!

 

Share a book you read that changed how you think about your work.

Sara: I recently read Last Stop on Market Street, written by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson. This book, which won the Newbery Medal and the Caldecott Honor, reminded me to be a witness for what I think is important in life. It reminded me that our in-school theatre residencies bring so many benefits to a student, and that we need to continue to be a witness for all of them. Here are just a few:

  1. They bring literature alive. Each residency performs a play based on an existing story. 2. They teach social skills. Working on a collaborative project like producing a play for friends and family enables kids to practice skills like communication and compromise.
  2. They are fun! Play is so important to a child’s development.

Bartol Grantee Spotlight: 1812 Productions

An 1812 Outreach program at Widener Memorial School. (Photo courtesy of 1812 Productions.)

 

As part of a new Q&A series, we will be getting to know the Bartol Foundation’s 2018 grantees. 1812 Productions received a $5,000 grant for their in-school theater education program, 1812 Outreach, which serves at-risk students at Philadelphia public schools. This program supplements the academic and life skills curriculum by teaching students the basics of theater, including playwriting, acting, stage presence, and character development in workshops.

These questions were answered by Marla Burkholder, Education Director, and Dave Jadico, External Relations Director.

 

What revs you up to go to work in the morning?

People and puzzles energize me. I know that if I get to visit one of our residency classrooms, I am going to have an interaction with a student that will inspire me, make me look at my day differently, or set up a challenge for me. I love puzzling through those challenges: How do you make the most of a residency that happens in a less than ideal space? How do you make students feel both welcomed and challenged in an exercise? What do we uniquely have to offer students?

What about your work keeps you up at night?

Staffing keeps me up at night. In theater, we sometimes say that good directing is 90% casting, and I think the same thing is true for running an arts education program—finding great teaching artists is crucial. I ask myself to examine whether our teachers reflect the demographics of our students, if they bring their best selves to the classroom, if they see teaching artistry as social justice work, and if they are self-aware and rooted in respect.

What is your favorite field trip? (Real or imagined.)

We are sometimes able to bring our residency students on field trips to see 1812 shows. These are always incredible learning experiences for everyone. Sometimes the students are just excited to get to visit Center City, or to see a live play for the first time. Often, they respond to the show in such smart ways that make me see something new. And eating pre-show pizza is just fun, and an opportunity to get to interact with them outside of the classroom and learn more about their lives.

Best. Snack. Ever.

We started a tradition a couple years ago of bringing Insomnia Cookies for a cast party with our students at Widener Memorial School after their year-end performance. It’s a tie for what brings the biggest smiles— performing on the stage or chocolate chip cookies.

Bartol Grantee Spotlight: Philadelphia Photo Arts Center

Artwork from PPAC Teen Photo program participant Raemani McKay. (Photo credit: www.philaphotoarts.org.)

 

As part of a new Q&A series, we will be getting to know the Bartol Foundation’s 2018 grantees. The Philadelphia Photo Arts Center (PPAC) received a $5,000 Bartol grant for their Teen Photo program – a free after-school program open to any Philadelphia public high school student. Over the course of eight months, students receive access to photography equipment and training, go on field trips to art exhibitions around the city, create a book of their photos, and have the chance to exhibit and sell their work in PPAC’s gallery.

These questions were answered by Michelle Wallace, Youth Education Coordinator.

 

When do you know your work is making a difference?

When a student shares with me an accomplishment, goal, or knowledge they have attained.

 

What is the coolest thing a participant in your program ever said to you?

“Whaaat, you just blew my mind!” during a lesson on the grammar of photography.

 

What is the best tip you can give to someone doing arts education programs like yours?

Listen to your students.

 

If you could magically change one thing to make your program better, what would it be?

A bus to take the students to places that are hard to reach on public transportation. And of course, more funding! 😉

 

What is your favorite field trip? (Real or imagined.)

Oaxaca, Mexico.

“It’s called a micro-grant, but the effects are felt at a macro level” – Interview with Bartol/SBMA Micro-Grantee Yinka Orafidiya

This year, the Bartol Foundation announced a new partnership with Small But Mighty Arts to award micro-grants to teaching artists working on community-based projects. Yinka Orafidiya, a socially engaged ceramic artist, is one of the grantees from our first round of awards last spring. Meet Yinka in our Q&A!

 

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself as a teaching artist?

Honestly, I didn’t start out as a teaching artist. When I started out, I was just strictly making pots. It was something that I gravitated towards because it was calming and therapeutic and a way for me to meditate in a dynamic way, with my hands being in motion but my mind being still. Over time, I started to transition into projects that had a social engagement component to connect with the community through my artwork. And I realized that the best way to do that was through teaching, demonstrating, and encouraging others to work with the material and engage with these objects that I was making. So, that’s how I started to cultivate a teaching practice in conjunction with my artistic practice.

 

What will you be doing with the microgrant you received from SBMA/Bartol?

Earlier this year, I received a fellowship that took me to Ghana to work with female potters. The micro-grant will be used to support the second half of that project, which is to utilize the experiences and lessons from Ghana to transition that into workshops here in Philly. A series of free workshops are going to take place over the course of two weeks, and I’m inviting black women in the area to join me in making handmade pottery vessels. We’re going to do this communally, building these pots together coil by coil. And the participating women don’t have to pay for anything—the micro-grant will enable me to provide them with all the tools, materials, and supplies they need to participate in these workshops.

 

What would you tell other teaching artists and artists working in the community about applying for a microgrant?

It may sound corny, I would say to just do it. The process is pretty straightforward. I know other artists in my peer group who specifically have this grant on their to-do list every year, but they never apply because they don’t think they’re ready. Honestly, when I decided to apply I wasn’t sure what the outcome would be, but I knew that you have to go through the process to prepare yourself for potentially re-applying for the next cycle. Don’t postpone it—do it now.

 

Anything else youd like to add?

I just want to express gratitude and appreciation for this award. It’s called a micro-grant, but the effects are felt at a macro level. It goes beyond just the award amount—it’s also validation for me as an artist, and confirmation that what I’m doing is relevant. Having a reputable organization support my work in this way is really encouraging for me to press forward and be more bold with my ideas and effort.

 

To learn more about Yinka’s work, visit her website or Instagram.

Interview responses have been edited for length and clarity.

Bartol Grantee Spotlight: ArtWell

Photo courtesy of ArtWell.

 

As part of a new Q&A series, we will be getting to know the Bartol Foundation’s 2018 grantees. ArtWell was founded in 2000 to respond to the chronic community violence in Philadelphia by introducing a preventive, educational, arts-oriented approach to reach underserved communities and youth facing discrimination, poverty, violence, and the everyday challenges of growing up. They received a $5,000 Bartol grant for general operating support.

These questions were answered by Rae Pagliarulo, Development Director (with help from the rest of the ArtWell team).

 

What revs you up to go to work in the morning?

Our students. We don’t get to see them every day, and sometimes it’s hard to schedule a site visit among all the meetings and reports and administrative wonderment that awaits us each day, but when we do get to visit a classroom – wow. There are these little moments that occur – blink and you might miss them – of discovery or trust or release or excitement, and witnessing one is just about the best thing in the world. I know they happen more often than I realize, and if you stack them up over a few months or years…that’s where the magic happens. That’s where a young person realizes they’re capable of anything they can dream of. There’s literally nothing better.

I also really love coming to work and just being with the team – we did a lot of work over the past couple of years to identify and confirm our core values as an organization (Imagination, Spirituality, Social Justice, Healing, Community, and Love) and have shared those values with our students, our board – anyone who will listen! They keep us focused on what’s really important and connect us to each other in exciting and meaningful ways, and it’s just a blast to spend time with and work hard with people who are so aligned with each other.

 

What about your work keeps you up at night?

The reality of what it’s like to be a young person in the world right now. Aside from the particulars of each person’s journey, I think just the act of growing up itself is really challenging. You’re learning new things every day, trying to assert your independence, trying to figure out boundaries with your peers or family members, experiencing frustration when adults don’t take you seriously, and constantly being asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Along with all of that, thanks to the current state of affairs in our country, young people today are also struggling with feelings of isolation, and receiving messages of xenophobia and racism from all angles. And to boot – social media complicates everything. It’s got to be really hard to figure out who you are and what you’re passionate about when you’re living in a world full of questions and challenges that seem so difficult to resolve.

I know that we can only address a tiny portion of those issues when we enter a classroom. I know that when our students leave the classroom, there is so much that we can’t control. That handful of hours we spend with them each week has to be enough. Those moments when they feel more connected to each other and themselves have to be enough.

 

What is the most important thing you do to help your teaching artists do their best work?

Give them interesting, adaptable, and thoughtful tools, and be present and available to them! Each teaching artist is unique, not just in their artistic background, but in their communication style, their leadership tendencies, their emotional intelligence…you name it! The best thing we can do is tap into what makes each person best suited to help usher our students into moments of creative discovery, and then give them everything they need to do it. Our monthly skill-building sessions are a major part of that. We cover topics that our teaching artists have told us they want to learn about: mindfulness, active listening, improvisation, trauma-informed facilitation. Beyond that, it’s almost inevitable that something (big or small) will go awry during the year, and when it does, we are there for them in whatever way they need. Whether it’s mediating a conversation, advocating for additional training, or working directly with school administrators, it’s vital for our teaching artists to know that when they’re in the classroom, we are right behind them.

 

What is the best tip you can give to someone doing arts education programs like yours?

Listen. Listen hard, listen all the time, listen without your ego, listen when all you want to do is talk, listen when you think there’s nothing worth hearing. Listen because the amount of things you still don’t know in this world, no matter how old or educated or experienced or wise you are, will floor you. Listen because no matter how many amazing ideas you have about what kind of programs or supports will help a student or a school or a community, I guarantee you, your constituents know better. This can be hard, not just because the act of listening is hard, but because there aren’t always methods or opportunities for the people who need to be heard to speak. But that just means it’s up to us to create those opportunities and open those spaces. To create safety and acceptance wherever we can.

 

If you could magically change one thing to make your program better, what would it be?

We’re always dreaming about ways that we can work together within the nonprofit sector to inspire more funding that addresses our core missions and speaks to the issue of collaboration. Every classroom and every student deserves a chance at experiencing sanctuary, to express themselves in a safe space, to grow their power, and to learn how to live and lead from that place. We have no shortage of teaching artists who want to work with us, and no shortage of schools who want us to come in and provide programming. But we do experience the ongoing challenge of finding the right resources to fund not just our programs, but meaningful collaborations – true partnerships that will help service providers evolve into a safety net for our students.

So, I guess to specifically answer the question of what single thing I’d magically change, it would be capacity. I would make our capacity unlimited. All the time, all the resources (human and financial), all the hours in all the days, and no threat of burnout. Can you imagine?

 

Best.  Snack. Ever.

Popcorn that’s both sweet AND salty – sometimes I think it’s the only snack our entire staff can agree on! (And I’m happy to eschew the ever-present nonprofit answer of “hummus,” because frankly, I think we can do better. I mean, have you ever HAD baba ganoush?)

“Easy to apply for, easy to use” – Interview with Bartol/SBMA Micro-Grantee Chris Coyle

This year, the Bartol Foundation announced a new partnership with Small But Mighty Arts to award micro-grants to teaching artists working on community-based projects. Chris Coyle is one of five winners from our first round of awards last spring. He is a bassist, composer, and music educator.

Meet Chris in our Q&A!

 

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself as a teaching artist?

I have been teaching music performance, theory, and project-based topics for the last twelve years. In addition to private instruction and classroom teaching at schools and colleges, I have begun to focus on hands-on performance and critical listening workshops and presentations as well. This has led me to design and conduct some unique and fun programming for organizations like Art-Reach and Musicopia, and for art programs that serve adults with disabilities. Much of this is done through a project I started in 2012 called Outside Sound and we’ve been fortunate enough to receive funding through a handful of grants and arts organizations. I bring a wealth of experiences to educational situations – aside from being an active performer (double bass, guitar, percussion), I am a writer (music and text), a traveler, and am active in other mediums/arts aside from music.

 

What will you be doing with the micro-grant you received from SBMA/Bartol?

The micro-grant funds have been used to purchase some new and used gear/instruments and to repair some instruments. All of these items will be used in workshops with school students, with art programs that I partner with, and in Outside Sound activities. The grant has gone a long way in improving the materials that I have at my disposal to work with students and participants in every teaching situation!

 

What would you tell other teaching artists and artists working in the community about applying for a micro-grant?

It is refreshing to find a funding opportunity that is easy to apply for, easy to use, and also brings together other artists and arts administrators in a community setting!

 

Anything else you’d like to add?

Thank you to SBMA! I look forward to sharing specifics about how this grant has impacted upcoming teaching engagements, and I hope to participate in an SBMA event in the near future to talk about my work, approach, and vision for sharing creative music.

Please give me a visit online at www.chriscoylemusbic.com or at www.outsidesound.net

 

Interview responses have been edited for length and clarity.

Bartol Grantee Spotlight: Sister Cities Girlchoir

As part of a new Q&A series, we will be getting to know the Bartol Foundation’s 2018 grantees. Sister Cities Girlchoir serves communities in Philadelphia, Camden, and Baltimore through a comprehensive choral training academy that empowers girls by building resilience, leadership, mastery, and connection. They received a $7,500 grant for their Saturday Girlchoir Academy.

Sister Cities Girlchoir was also selected for the 2018 George Bartol Arts Education Award! This prestigious award is given to one Bartol grantee each year in recognition of outstanding arts education achievement. Read the full announcement here.

These questions were answered by Alysia Lee, Founder and Artistic Director of Sister Cities Girlchoir.

 

What is the most important thing you do to help your teaching artists do their best work?

The most important thing I do to help the Sister Cities Girlchoir teaching artists succeed is remind them of their power. It is so easy to get into the weeds of teaching artistry – collecting permission slips, slipping in formative assessments, making seating charts, remembering brain break activities, and so many names to remember. And all of that is important – but at the center this work is about the power of creativity and passion.

 

What is the best tip you can give to someone doing arts education programs like yours?

My tip is to check in with the participants for feedback, often. Even daily! Don’t leave anything to chance – ask the youth that engage in your program what is working well and what is not. Eliminate your blind spots by seeing your program through multiple viewpoints.

 

What is your favorite field trip? (Real or imagined.)

My favorite SCG field trip was last season’s tour with The Philadelphia Orchestra to perform at Carnegie Hall. Following months of working with composer Tod Machover to contribute to his mammoth ode to the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection, “Philadelphia Voices.” After a few weeks of rehearsals 30 girls traveled to NYC to perform on one of the world’s greatest stages. Seeing the girls confidently take the stage and the roaring applause and ovation from the audience left us all in a state of bliss for weeks! Hard work and consistency pays off!

 

Best. Snack. Ever.

A purplelicious treat: Purple Grapes!

2018 Bartol Award Announced: Sister Cities Girlchoir

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

September 18, 2018

CONTACT:

Beth Feldman Brandt

Executive Director

267-519-5311 (office); 610-513-2668 (cell)

bfbrandt@bartol.org

 

STOCKTON RUSH BARTOL FOUNDATION SELECTS SISTER CITIES GIRLCHOIR AS THE RECIPIENT OF THE 2018 GEORGE BARTOL ARTS EDUCATION AWARD

Award Honors Artistic Excellence and Commitment to Community

Philadelphia, PA—The Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation has selected Sister Cities Girlchoir (SCG) as the winner of the 2018 George Bartol Arts Education Award. The Award is given to an organization that provides sustained, meaningful exposure and participation in the arts; that demonstrates an active engagement in the lives of its students and community; and that maintains high artistic standards for its faculty and students.

The George Bartol Arts Education Award was established in 2001 to recognize outstanding arts education programs by a non-profit cultural organization. Each year, a grant of $5,000 is made in memory of George Bartol, founder of the Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation, who believed that the key to a thriving arts community was an investment in arts education for its children. As part of its annual grant review process, the Foundation designates one grantee to receive this additional award of $5,000 to further support its arts education programs. This year’s award is made possible in part through gifts from Mr. Bartol’s children.

Beth Feldman Brandt, Executive Director of the Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation says, “With the vision and energy of its founder, Alysia Lee, Sister Cities Girlchoir is fully committed to helping girls achieve their potential by helping them to literally and figuratively raise their voices.  We are grateful to be able to support such inspiring work.”

“Sister Cities is built on the premise that artists are vital to communities and that every young girl deserves access to all that the arts can teach. We are proud of the teaching artist team at SCG which embodies our mission to share the power of the arts to transform young women into not just artists, but leaders,” said Ms. Lee. “We are grateful to be recognized for this work by the George Bartol Arts Education Award.”

 

About Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation

The Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation works at the intersection of arts, education, community and philanthropy, grounded in our belief that deeply meaningful arts experiences strengthen people and communities. The Bartol Foundation advocates for and facilitates partnerships in which cultural organizations, teaching artists, community partners, and funders work toward the common goal of providing high-caliber, equitable arts education to people in Philadelphia, especially those in the most under-resourced or under-served communities. We utilize our knowledge and resources to create to generate more resources and opportunities for all.

 

About Sister Cities Girlchoir

Sister Cities Girlchoir (SCG) empowers girls by building resilience, leadership, mastery and connection through a comprehensive choral training academy that invests in the unique potential of girls to improve our world. The program is research-based, and uses music as a girl empowerment tool.  SCG is modeled on the powerful impact that investments in the lives of girls make for a city block, a neighborhood, a city….for the world.SCG is modeled after El Sistema, Venezuela’s music education program that is transforming lives and communities around the world. SCG Founder, Alysia Lee spent a year studying El Sistema and visiting programs in Venezuela and throughout the U.S. through the Sistema Fellowship at the New England Conservatory.

 

The list of past award winners is available here.

Bartol Grantee Spotlight: Art Sphere Inc.

Students create watercolors and wax resist rubbings of famous paintings and drawings. (Photo courtesy of Art Sphere Inc.)

 

As part of a new Q&A series, we will be getting to know the Bartol Foundation’s 2018 grantees. Art Sphere Inc. was established in 1998 to bring arts education to low-income youth through after-school programs, collaborative public murals, community art events, and much more. They received a $5,000 Bartol grant for general operating support.

These questions were answered by four ASI staff members: Gab (Office Coordinator), Yujing (Graphic Designer), Sadie (Teaching Assistant), and Kristin (Executive Director). The team had so much fun answering the questions that they posted the full interview on their blog. Below is a selection of their responses.

 

What revs you up to go to work in the morning?

  • A student that was sad about the summer program ending and already excited about and planning what we will be doing next year has got me thinking about next summer already!
  • Being able to work independently on a project, given a task then asked and believed in to be able to complete it and my efforts being recognized as very valuable.
  • The excitement to design a different handout for a new teaching assignment and posting it on the blog for our teachers, partners and the world to share.
  • Feeling a sense of purpose and knowing little things can make a big difference. (Always having something to do!)

 

What is the coolest thing a participant in your program ever said to you?

  • When excited students shared how happy they were to make puppets and flowers.
  • The director sharing that she was so impressed with my fabulous work that she was sharing handouts to the partner because it expressed our curriculum goals better than words.
  • When a new member was excited about volunteering and had all her paperwork submitted and wanted to start helping immediately!
  • When a grandmother called and said even though no one in their family liked school or graduated high school, that our program inspired her grandson to go to college and he would be the first of his family to do so and how proud she was.

 

What is the best tip you can give to someone doing arts education programs like yours?

  • Tap into the passion and creativity of all staff.
  • Embrace the spirit of Kaizen – continuous self-improvement!
  • Develop a site-specific curriculum that really interests and inspires students and staff member partners. Make art relevant by connecting art curriculum themes with current events.
  • Provide learning materials not already available to your youth that combine ideas from other subject areas.

 

What is your favorite field trip? (Real or imagined.)

  • We have had awesome nature walks in our urban neighborhoods where we have collected insects and leaves to draw and identify native and non-native plants and trees. Students are often amazed at “all that cool stuff we didn’t even notice before” right on their own block.
  • We regularly used to take students with sketchbooks, bird identification books, binoculars, and backpacks with art materials to draw ducks, turtles, and landscapes directly from nature (with the details to make the different species identifiable) in John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge. One field trip there topped them all, as a student overcame her very real fear of “killer turtles” and extreme dangers of animals not living in this region. It has been nicknamed our “Ninja Turtle” story, which we have shared and chuckled about ever since, and points out the importance of learning. It is so easy for youth to fear what they don’t know and for youth to believe what they see on TV and social media.

 

Best. Snack. Ever.

  • Kind bars, chocolate covered expresso beans, and grapes – it’s grain, protein, caffeine, hydration, and dessert that can fit in a small side pouch of a backpack.
  • Homemade Lemon Ricotta cookies.
  • Seaweed Crackers.
  • Blueberry Muffins.

“It shouldn’t be this difficult for artists to thrive” – Interview with Erica Hawthorne-Manon, Founder and Managing Director of Small But Mighty Arts

Photo Credit: www.smallbutmightyarts.org.

 

This past spring, the Bartol Foundation announced a new partnership with Small But Mighty Arts (SBMA) to award ten $500 micro-grants to Philadelphia-based teaching artists. As part of our ongoing Q&A series, we spoke with Erica Hawthorne-Manon, Founder and Managing Director of SBMA, to learn more about her work with the Philadelphia arts community and SBMA’s new partnership with the Bartol Foundation.

SBMA is now accepting applications to award five more micro-grants to teaching artists working on community-based projects. The application will close Sunday, September 9. Access the online application here.

 

Can you tell me a bit about your background in the arts? How did you decide to found Small But Mighty Arts?

I came to Philadelphia as a creative myself. My background is in theatre, writing, and spoken word, which is kind of like a marriage between theatre and poetry. I also have a professional background in public relations and business. I did a lot of “starving artist” things and did my art on the side of my full-time job, even though I wanted to do more. I realized just how challenging it was to be an artist on many different levels, whether it was finding opportunities or being able to expand my skills beyond just performance. I didn’t understand why my peers and I were having such a difficult time—we had talent and skills, but we were always struggling to find the next opportunity. I felt that it shouldn’t be this difficult for artists to thrive, knowing how important the arts are to the community, education, and the creative economy.

Around this same time, a friend suggested I apply for a grant to fund ideas. I pitched three of my ideas, and one was selected—to provide artists with smaller funds during a critical time window. When I was working on my album, I had the experience of being short about $500-1,000 to finish the technical production of the project. I had done the bulk of the work and just needed a little bit of funding so that I wouldn’t have to stop. I pitched this idea to small firms and got awarded a challenge grant, and that’s what brought me to start Small But Mighty Arts.

 

What is most meaningful to you about SBMA’s work in the community?

The ability to make connections, especially connections that turn into real, tangible opportunities. For me, that’s the whole point of SBMA. Even though we started with micro-grant programs, the purpose is to shorten the distance between an artist and their next career-enhancing opportunity, whether that’s professional development, funding, or marketing and promotion.

Our partnerships with other organizations and programs have also been very valuable. We would not be able to thrive without our partnerships. Many of the artists that we fund through micro-grants we’ve also connected to our partner organizations and other paid opportunities. We always think about what it means to be able to share mission and goals when we partner with organizations in a way that’s powerful for both of us. I think the fact that people are willing to partner with us, even though we’re small, continues to help us expand what we’re able to give back to artists.

 

What’s been the most rewarding moment from your work with SBMA?

It changes, but right now it’s getting emails from artists that we’ve worked with or funded and hearing that our work with them led them to another opportunity or kept their momentum going. We got an email from one of our 2017 grantees, Irina Varina, who worked on a film that premiered at a film festival in New York, and part of the micro-grant funding that we gave her allowed her to finish that project. Another grantee from 2017 is Amy Schofield, who’s a flamenco dancer. We were able to book her for a performance at the Barnes Foundation, and then the Barnes reached out and wanted to book her again. It’s those types of moments that are really powerful for me. Sometimes we also hear that an SBMA grant is the first one an artist has received, and that grant gives them inspiration to apply for other opportunities. That’s the whole point—that they don’t give up and they’re able to persist, and we make it possible for artists to do that right here in Philadelphia.

 

SBMA recently partnered with the Bartol Foundation to award micro-grants to teaching artists and to share a staff Artist Engagement Fellow. What drew you to this collaboration with Bartol?

It started with us first supporting each other’s work and sharing information with our networks. We realized that we have very similar missions and goals. We also saw the value in being able to inform our artists, who are not teaching artists, of the opportunity to develop that skill. Bartol was reimagining their focus, and when they reached out to us it made a lot of sense to work together toward a shared mission goal. Through sharing an Artist Engagement Fellow, we’re able to highlight the artists that we’ve funded, and to make sure that there’s shared information between the two organizations about other opportunities for artists.

This partnership has been five years in the making. Not every partnership takes that long, but I will say that our best partnerships have been the ones that we’ve built over time. That’s encouragement to others who are thinking about building partnerships. You are probably already starting by the relationships you are creating. It’s worth building all levels of partnerships—they get very valuable work done for the communities that we serve.

 

Interview responses have been edited for length and clarity.

Announcing the Bartol Foundation’s 2018 Grantees

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 24, 2018

CONTACT:

Beth Feldman Brandt

Executive Director

256-519-5311 (office); 610-513-2668 (cell)

bfbrandt@bartol.org

 

STOCKTON RUSH BARTOL FOUNDATION AWARDS

22 GRANTS TO PHILADELPHIA ARTS AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATIONS

 

Five Micro-grants Also Awarded to Teaching Artists through 

New Partnership with Small But Mighty Arts

 

Philadelphia, PA—The Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation announced today that it will distribute $125,000 in grants to 22 Philadelphia arts and cultural organizations. The Foundation supports organizations in a range of artistic disciplines with an emphasis on arts education and community-based arts programs. A complete list with information on each grantee is available here.

In addition, the Foundation approved $2,500 in its first of two rounds of micro-grants. Grants of $500 each were awarded to five individual teaching artists through a new partnership with Small But Mighty Arts (SBMA.) SBMA supports members of the creative community by connecting artists directly with resources and networks. Information on these grantees is available here.

The 2018 roster of grantees reflects the Bartol Foundation’s commitment to supporting cultural organizations that provide exceptional, sustained arts experiences to children, teens and adults throughout Philadelphia’s neighborhoods. The Bartol Foundation supports diverse organizations from large to small, established and emerging. The Foundation made 18 grants of $5,000 each.  Four grants of $7,500 each were made to:

  • Sister Cities Girlchoir for their Saturday Girlchoir Academy that builds singers and leaders;
  • PhillyCAM for their development of “people-powered media”;
  • The Tibetan Association of Greater Philadelphia for programs which preserve traditional Tibetan dance, music and song; and,
  • Warrior Writers to bring together veterans and members of the Iraqi community to collaborate.

Three first-time grantees bring new perspectives and audiences to the roster of grantees:

  • ArtSphere for their pre-school program in Philadelphia neighborhoods;
  • Dehkontee Artists Theatre serves the Liberian community with a project that will address issues of domestic and gun violence; and,
  • Power Street Theatre Company, a collective of multicultural and multidisciplinary artists that empowers marginalized artists and communities of color.

“Bartol has a new strategic vision through which we are re-affirming our commitment to organizations which engage and amplify voices that might otherwise be marginalized or silenced,” said Toni Shapiro-Phim, Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and Director of Programs for the Philadelphia Folklore Project.  “We are also pursuing new partnerships such as our micro-grant program with SBMA that will increase our impact through collaborations.”

“There are many organizations, especially representing communities of color, that have a vibrant cultural life but do not have the same access to resources,” added Beth Feldman Brandt, Executive Director of the Foundation. “We are committed to supporting the organizations and teaching artists who are part of these communities.”

The $5,000 George Bartol Arts Education Award, given annually to an organization that exemplifies the Foundation’s priorities, will be announced in the fall of 2018.

Grants distributed to organizations this year also include $10,000 in funds from Waterman II Fund of The Philadelphia Foundation.

Updated guidelines and applications for the next round of grants will be available in the winter of 2019 on the Foundation’s website at www.bartol.org with an application deadline of May 1, 2019.

The Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation works at the intersection of arts, education, community and philanthropy, grounded in our belief that deeply meaningful arts experiences strengthen people and communities. The Bartol Foundation advocates for and facilitates partnerships in which cultural organizations, teaching artists, community partners, and funders work toward the common goal of providing high-caliber, equitable arts education to people in Philadelphia, especially those in the most under-resourced or under-served communities. We utilize our knowledge and resources to create to generate more resources and opportunities for all.

 

Organization Brief project description 2018 Grant
1812 Productions In-school theatre residency program $5,000
Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture General operating support $5,000
Art Sphere Inc. General operating support $5,000
Art-Reach General operating support $5,000
ArtWell General operating support $5,000
Asian Arts Initiative General operating support $5,000
Centro Nueva Creacion After-school Bomba Classes $5,000
Dehkontee Artists Theatre Inc Theatre program based in Liberian community $5,000
Enchantment Theatre Company Theatre Residency at PASchool for the Deaf $5,000
Koresh Dance Company Koresh Kids Dance $5,000
Kulu Mele African Dance & Drum Ensemble General operating support $5,000
Musicopia Musicopia Percussion Network (MPN) $5,000
Philadelphia Folklore Project General operating support $5,000
Philadelphia Photo Arts Center Teen photo program $5,000
Philadelphia Public Access Corp dba PhillyCAM Community Video Training $7,500
Philadelphia Dance Company General operating support $5,000
Philadelphia Young Playwrights Core Program of in-class playwriting residencies $5,000
Power Street Theatre Company Free theatre program for diverse adults. $5,000
Sister Cities Girlchoir Saturday Girlchoir Academy $7,500
Taller Puertorriqueno Arts and cultural education programs $5,000
Tibetan Association Of Philadelphia Tibetan cultural dance and song program $7,500
Warrior Writers of CultureTrust Greater Philadelphia Veterans and Iraqis video project $7,500

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Project Stream Grant (deadline June 20)—Interview with Allison Vanyur, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance

Photo: People’s Emergency Center, 2016 Project Stream grantee. (Courtesy of Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance)

 

The Philadelphia region offers a wide range of funding opportunities for community-based artists and organizations. One example is Project Stream, a grant administered by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. Learn more and get application tips in our Q&A with Allison Vanyur, Grants & Events Manager at the Cultural Alliance.

 

Can you explain a bit of background information about the Project Stream Grant?

Project Stream is a program of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA), a state government agency. They run a number of different arts funding opportunities, but two of them—Project Stream and Program Stream—are facilitated by regional partner organizations, so this gives the decision-making power to local communities. The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance facilitates Project Stream in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties. This opportunity is open to any individual, nonprofit organization, or fiscally sponsored organization in Pennsylvania. The grants support any type of arts-specific projects, including exhibitions, performances, poetry readings, and art education programs. The maximum amount you can request is $2,500, and the deadline to apply is June 20th.

 

Do individuals need to have a fiscal sponsor or can anyone apply?

Individuals do not need to have fiscal sponsors. Any individual over the age of 18 who lives in the five-county Philadelphia region can apply. If an organization wants to apply and they do not have 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, then they would need a fiscal sponsor.

 

What impact do you hope that Project Stream will have on Philadelphia’s cultural landscape?

The main goal of Project Stream is to promote access to the arts in every county in Pennsylvania. The PCA distributes Project Stream grants in every county of Pennsylvania. So, our goal is always that the pool of applicants represents the diverse communities that make up the region. Every Project Stream grant must have a public component of some sort—such as an exhibition or something that the public can come to—so that anyone in the community can experience or participate in the project.

I think another thing that makes Project Stream really unique is that it’s open to organizations that don’t necessarily have a specific arts focus. So, a church or a community center that does not typically present arts programming can apply for the same opportunity as a ballet company or a museum.

 

What advice would you give someone applying for the first time?

I think the most important thing to remember when you’re writing a Project Stream application is that these proposals are reviewed by a volunteer panel of your peers. Anyone who lives in the region can volunteer to serve as a panelist, and they all have varying degrees of arts expertise. We really want the stakeholders in the community to have a voice in what is presented in their communities. For this reason, I always tell people to assume that panelists are not familiar with your work, or even with your artistic discipline—to really over-articulate and be very, very clear when you’re describing your project and identifying the goals you hope to reach.

 

How can interested individuals learn more information?

More information can be found on our website, or by emailing me at allisonv@philaculture.org. We are also partnering with Vision Driven Artists to present a free information session and grant writing workshop for interested applicants on May 30th. You can RSVP to either attend in person or to receive a recording of the presentation. The first half of the session will be just me explaining how to apply, eligibility requirements and such, and then the second half will be Vision Driven Artists presenting a hands-on grant writing workshop.

 

Interview responses have been edited for length and clarity.

“Creative and Engaging”—Interview with Bartol/SBMA Artist Engagement Fellow Tezarah Wilkins

As part of the Bartol Foundation’s new partnership with Small But Mighty Arts, we recently brought on board Tezarah Wilkins as Artist Engagement Fellow. Tezarah will be working jointly with Bartol and SBMA to profile the work of teaching artists in the community through video interviews, assist with networking events, and raise awareness of the resources provided by these two organizations. Be sure to follow Bartol’s Facebook page to stay updated as this exciting new partnership unfolds!

Meet Tezarah in today’s Q&A!

 

Can you tell me a bit about your work as an artist?

I’ve always been an artist, and I’ve transitioned through different genres of art at different stages in my life. I started out as a visual artist doing illustration, and then I trained as a theatre actor for a while. In college, I started doing spoken word, pairing my theatre background with poetry to give it that performance element. Now I’ve transitioned into photography and film, which I’ve been doing for the longest—for about the last eight years or so.

What do you focus on when creating a short film to profile an artist’s work in the community? What techniques do you use visually and in the interviews to tell their story?

I try to think about everyone as a character, showcasing the emotion through the interactions between the teaching artist and their community. I like to include aspects of fun as well, because a lot of what we do as artists is creative and engaging and relatable. So, if an artist is at a school, I focus on getting the ambiance, seeing what their community looks like, and creating imagery that showcases their interactions with students—smiles, laughter—and how they engage with their community.

You will be out in all kinds of places that bring artists together, telling them more about resources through Bartol and SBMA (e.g. grants, professional development, networking). What do you think is the most important thing you can tell artists about why they should connect with these resources?

I think artists are always going to benefit from organizations that are trying to cultivate their skills and provide additional opportunities for them. Organizations like the Bartol Foundation provide a lot of professional development opportunities where artists can hone certain skills. Granting organizations are always wonderful to be attached to for the financial support as well, just so that artists can continue to grow their work and have the resources to reach out to a greater audience.

What are you hoping to learn from this fellowship?

I’m looking for the same things, honestly. I’m definitely looking forward to this fellowship and using it as a way to grow myself as an artist—getting feedback from other people who are working as artists every day, being around their energy, and being motivated by the work that they do. Ultimately, I want to use the fellowship as a platform for networking with other organizations and individuals that I can partner with to grow the arts in Philadelphia.

 

To view Tezarah’s work as a photographer, visit https://www.instagram.com/tezarah/.

Interview responses have been edited for length and clarity.

Bartol and Small But Mighty Arts Announce Partnership

The Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation today announced a partnership with Small But Mighty Arts of CultureTrust Greater Philadelphia (SBMA) to award ten $500 micro-grants to Philadelphia-based teaching artists.

Small But Mighty Arts is a connector organization that creates career-enhancing opportunities for artists. This micro-grant program is designed to give teaching artists the jumpstart they need to advance or complete a creative project in the community.

“By partnering with Small But Mighty Arts, the Bartol Foundation can amplify our impact and directly support individual artists who are working in communities,” said Beth Feldman Brandt, Executive Director of the Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation. “Bartol and SBMA share the same ‘can do’ attitude, and both our strengths lie in our networks and our knowledge of the communities we serve, as well as our shared belief that small can be powerful.”

“Ultimately artists win when we partner. By cross-promoting, resource-sharing, and collaborating based on each of organizations’ programmatic strengths, we’re able to shorten the distance between artists and the opportunities that will help them to thrive,” says Erica Hawthorne-Manon, Executive Director of Small But Mighty Arts. As a ‘small but mighty’ organization in an ever-changing non-profit landscape, partnerships are also critical to our sustainability.”

Both Feldman Brandt and Hawthorne-Manon are pleased to be modeling a partnership program, something they and other funders often suggest to the small non-profits they fund.

“As a funder, we often tell our grantees to partner with each other for greater impact,” says Brandt. “Now funders and grantees alike can see how that looks in action. Small But Mighty Arts and Bartol share goals that are aligned and have complimentary resources. We realized we each could benefit from this partnership, as would our grantees.”

Micro-grant guidelines and info session registration will be available the week of March 19, 2018.Applications will be open April 2 – 14, 2018. Grant recipients will be announced the week of May 21, 2018. For more information visit www.smallbutmightyarts.org/sbma-grant.

 

The Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation works at the intersection of arts, education, community and philanthropy, grounded in our belief that deeply meaningful arts experiences strengthen people and communities. The Bartol Foundation serves as a hub through which cultural organizations, teaching artists, community partners, and funders work toward the common goal of providing high-caliber, equitable arts education to people in Philadelphia, especially those in the most under-resourced or under-served Through grantmaking, professional development programs and arts advocacy, we utilize our knowledge and resources to create collaborations within and across our own and other networks to generate more resources and opportunities for all.

Small But Mighty Arts of CultureTrust Greater Philadelphia (SBMA) deepens engagement between artists and the community through the facilitation of partnership programs, resource connections, information-sharing, funding, and advising. FOR ARTISTS: SBMA provides artists with the “spark” they need to continue or complete projects, maintain creative momentum, and put more work into the community through connecting & informing artists about career-enhancing opportunities, offering access to funding through micro-grants, and providing a range of advisory services. FOR ORGANIZATIONS: SBMA works with organizations and institutions to help them reach their creative project goals through connection and engagement with emerging and established artists.

8 Tips to a Strong (Bartol) Grant Proposal – Deadline May 1, 2018!

Bartol’s 2018 grant application is officially open online. For more information about the process, visit https://bartol.org/apply-for-grants/.

At the Bartol Foundation, we want to consider your strongest proposal.  After many years and reading many, many proposals, we encourage organizations to use these tips when creating your request.

  1. No Need to Preach to the Choir: At the Bartol Foundation, we understand the importance of arts education, the creative process and community-based programs.  Focus your proposal on your specific needs and goals rather than extensively quoting research on the importance of the arts.
  2. Be Concrete and Specific: We want to invest in programs that are clear in their goals and their implementation.  Provide us with concrete details that show you have the components of your proposal well planned out.  For example, give us a timeline of activities, the date and the venue of a community performance, and/or include a support letter from your partner school. Make sure to provide a sample curriculum as part of the required attachments for an arts education request.
  3. Define your Terms:  What is a “ten-week residency”?  Once a week for ten weeks?  All-day, every day for ten weeks?  Forty-five minute sessions or three-hour sessions?  The same students every time or different?  Twelve students in a class or 200?  Again, be specific.
  4. But what if I don’t know the details?  We understand that sometimes our deadline doesn’t quite mesh with your planning.  In that case, tell us the process that you will use to make important decisions or to identify your prospective partners or artists.  Tell us about your track record with work similar to what you are proposing.  But more details always result in a stronger proposal.  Sometimes the best thing is to wait until next year if your plans are not fully formed yet.
  5. Don’t Cite Partners without Telling Them. We expect that you have spoken with any person or organization that you are naming as a potential partner.  Make sure that they are not also applying to the Foundation for a similar or conflicting request.  It’s always good to provide a letter of support that demonstrates a potential partner is on board.
  6. Evaluation can be simple.  We want to know that you have a system for assessing how you are doing and adapting as you go.  This can be as simple as, “We had no enrollment on Mondays.  We asked the parents and found out that Monday was karate day.  We switched the class to Thursdays and now it’s full.”    In any case, please do answer the question about evaluation with one concrete example.
  7. Why now? We tend to fund about one-half of the proposals we receive.  Often those that receive funding make a compelling case as to why this is something that needs to happen now.  Why does this project or this year’s general operating programs represent an important step for your organization artistically or organizationally?  Many of you have long-range plans.  Tell us (briefly and concretely) how your request will move your plans forward.
  8. You can’t be new and vague. For organizations that are new to us, or just plain new, convince us that you have the capacity to pull off what you are proposing.  Again, do this by being concrete and specific when describing your program.

 

A reminder that you cannot apply to the Foundation without a site visit prior to the deadline. Site visits must be scheduled by April 6, 2018 and must take place by May 1, 2018.

Any questions?  Call or email us.  The lines are open.

info@bartol.org

267-519-5310

Bartol Announces 2017 Arts and Cultural Grants

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 17, 2017

STOCKTON RUSH BARTOL FOUNDATION AWARDS

22 GRANTS TO PHILADELPHIA ARTS AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATIONS

Grants awarded to exemplary cultural organizations highlighting commitment to arts education

Philadelphia, PA—The Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation announced today that it will distribute $115,000 in grants to 22 Philadelphia arts and cultural organizations. The Foundation supports organizations in a range of artistic disciplines with an emphasis on arts education and community-based arts programs.  A complete list of grants for 2017 with information on each grantee is available here.

The 2017 roster of grantees reflects the Bartol Foundation’s commitment to supporting cultural organizations that provide exceptional, sustained arts experiences to children, teens and adults throughout Philadelphia’s neighborhoods. The Bartol Foundation supports organizations throughout the City, from large to small, established and emerging. The Foundation made 20 grants of $5,000 each.  Two grants of $7,500 each were made to Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco) in recognition of their exceptional dance training and Sister Cities Girlchoir for their Saturday Girlchoir Academy that builds singers and leaders. Two first-time grantees – Rock to the Future and Warrior Writers– add new perspectives to the mix.

“In the current climate, it is especially important that all voices have the chance to be heard,” said Toni Shapiro-Phim, Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and Director of Programs for Philadelphia Folklore Project. “Arts programs supported by the Bartol Foundation provide opportunities for the establishment of safe spaces in which to create and connect.”

“We are committed to supporting arts in communities that might otherwise be overlooked,” added Beth Feldman Brandt, Executive Director of the Foundation. “Warrior Writers works with veterans to share their stories. Al-Bustan builds bridges among immigrant communities by making art together.  We are grateful to the organizations we support for partnering with us on this shared mission.”

Grants distributed this year also include $15,000 in funds from the Waterman II Fund of The Philadelphia Foundation.

The $5,000 George Bartol Arts Education Award, given annually to an organization that exemplifies the Foundation’s priorities, will be announced in the fall of 2017.

Updated guidelines and applications for the next round of grants will be available in the winter of 2018 on the Foundation’s website at www.bartol.org with an application deadline of May 1, 2018.

For more information, contact Beth Feldman Brandt Executive Director at  256-519-5311 or at bfbrandt@bartol.org

The Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation seeks to foster an environment where arts and culture can flourish. The Foundation provides financial and technical support to non-profit arts and cultural organizations in Philadelphia. Through its grantmaking, professional development programs and arts advocacy, the Foundation works to ensure a vibrant cultural life for all Philadelphia citizens through programs that use art as a catalyst for meaningful communication and connections, strengthening the social fabric of our City’s neighborhoods.

Supporting Teaching Artists (and Their Students) in the Current Climate-You Can Help

grantee-gathering-november

Supporting Teaching Artists (and Their Students) in the Current  Climate—You Can Help

Regardless of your politics, it is clear that this election marks the end of a particularly divisive time and a heightened climate for the people that Bartol grantees serve. Immigrants who fear deportation or detention, people of color, Muslims, women and girls, and those who live in communities that are already traumatized and marginalized, all have new reason to be concerned for their futures.

After hearing from our grantees who are trying to navigate this new reality, we invited our grantees (above) to join us to share what they are experiencing in their classrooms and see how we can all support each other going forward. While the teaching artists and staff who came together have not seen particular acts that threaten the safety of their students, they all feel that there is a pervasive climate of fear, especially for those community members who are immigrants (undocumented and otherwise) who fear that family members may be deported or detained. Many feel that this climate has brought into the open feelings of racism that have long been under the surface.

We all agreed that it is the job of teaching artists and the organizations that support them to be vigilant in maintaining a safe space for all respectful and compassionate dialogue. There was also agreement that making art provides a space in which to process feelings and also take action in whatever way each organization feels aligns with their mission.

As we all process our feelings about what might happen in the next four years, some want to talk about it. Some don’t. The group felt it was important to be mindful of how we influence those we interact with and the risks/benefits of self-disclosure. Our first responsibility is to have our participants feel as though we are a consistent, reliable, trusted teacher to them.

Many of our colleagues offered specific resources to share with each other. Others expressed a recognition that we need to build ties within our communities and also seek opportunities for strength across communities through collaborations and networking.

What You Can Do

In response to the conversation, we decided to create a system for sharing existing resources, which Bartol will post on a shared Google drive. Resources could include:

  • Trauma-informed practices for the classroom
  • Curriculum to engage students in discussion; writing prompts; activities
  • Community resources that focus on immigrant rights; reporting hate crimes; addressing incidents of discrimination and racism.

If you have resources to share or would like access to the shared resources, email us here. You can also:

  • Send ideas for workshops or resources that you would like us to offer this winter or spring and we will do our best to respond as our own resources allow.
  • Reach out directly to your colleagues (and copy us if you would) when you see opportunities to collaborate across communities.
  • Let us know in the future if you want to meet again to discuss specific topics or in a less structured setting with an open agenda.

Onward.

8 Tips to a Strong (Bartol) Proposal – Deadline May 2, 2016!

At the Bartol Foundation, we want to consider your strongest proposal.  After many years and reading many, many proposals, we encourage organizations to use these tips when creating your request.  Note:  You need to have already had a site visit with us in order to apply.

No Need to Preach to the Choir:  At the Bartol Foundation, we understand the importance of arts education, the creative process and community-based programs.  Focus your proposal on your specific needs and goals rather than extensively quoting research on the importance of the arts.

Be Concrete and Specific:  We want to invest in programs that are clear in their goals and their implementation.  Provide us with concrete details that show you have the components of your proposal well planned out.  For example, give us a timeline of activities, the date and the venue of a community performance, and/or include a support letter from your partner school. Make sure to provide a sample curriculum as part of the required attachments for an arts education request.

Define your Terms:  What is a “ten-week residency”?  Once a week for ten weeks?  All-day, every day for ten weeks?  Forty-five minute sessions or three-hour sessions?  The same students every time or different?  Twelve students in a class or 200?  Again, be specific.

But what if I don’t know the details?  We understand that sometimes our deadline doesn’t quite mesh with your planning.  In that case, tell us the process that you will use to make important decisions or to identify your prospective partners or artists.  Tell us about your track record with work similar to what you are proposing.  But more details always result in a stronger proposal.  Sometimes the best thing is to wait until next year if your plans are not fully formed yet.

Don’t Cite Partners without Telling Them.  We expect that you have spoken with any person or organization that you are naming as a potential partner.  Make sure that they are not also applying to the Foundation for a similar or conflicting request.  It’s always good to provide a letter of support that demonstrates a potential partner is on board.

Evaluation can be simple.  We want to know that you have a system for assessing how you are doing and adapting as you go.  This can be as simple as, “We had no enrollment on Mondays.  We asked the parents and found out that Monday was karate day.  We switched the class to Thursdays and now it’s full.”    In any case, please do answer the question about evaluation with one concrete example.

Why now?  We tend to fund about one-half of the proposals we receive.  Often those that receive funding make a compelling case as to why this is something that needs to happen now.  Why does this project or this year’s general operating programs represent an important step for your organization artistically or organizationally?  Many of you have long-range plans.  Tell us (briefly and concretely) how your request will move your plans forward.

You can’t be new and vague.  For organizations that are new to us, or just plain new, convince us that you have the capacity to pull off what you are proposing.  Again, do this by being concrete and specific when describing your program.

A reminder that you cannot apply to the Foundation without a site visit prior to the deadline.  The 2016 deadline for scheduling a site visit has passed  If you missed it,make sure to get on our calendar early next year.

Any questions?  Call or email us.  The lines are open.

 

 

 

 

 

Five Tips for a Successful Site Visit

Drumming at Taller

A friendly reminder – The Bartol Foundation requires that all applicants schedule a site visit with us before they can be considered for funding. Site visits for our May 2, 2106 deadline must be scheduled no later than April 6, 2016. So, what’s in a site visit? Here are five tips to follow

  1. The right activity:  We value process over product so have us out to see the actual teaching and learning or community activities.  It should be as close to what you will be applying for as you can.  So if you are a dance company doing education programs, we should come see the education programs, not a performance.
  2. The right day:  Pick a point where your program is in full swing – usually midway or towards the end of a process.   Steer clear of days that might have low enrollment like a half-day at school or the day after an extended break.
  3. The right time:  We will usually spend about an hour at a site visit so make that hour count.    You might want us to see one program from beginning to end, or parts of a few programs.  We don’t need to see snack time or homework tutoring before the actual program starts.
  4. The right people:  We do our best not to disturb the program by pulling the teaching artist or program leader away from their work.  We can just observe or if you have someone (e.g. Executive or Education Director, principal, program partner) to meet us and give us background that is helpful.
  5. We understand:  As artists and educators ourselves, we understand that things don’t always go absolutely according to plan.  We know this is just one snapshot of your program and are coming to become more familiar with your work and community.

 To check your eligibility and schedule a site visit, click here.  And watch this quick snapchat video of a recent site visit to Taller Puertorriqueño a Bartol grantee.