NEW YORK, March 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin announced today the start of this year's New York City Cultural Innovation Fund competition. In 2007, its inaugural year, the New York City Cultural Innovation Fund awarded $2.6 million through sixteen two-year grants of $50,000 to $250,000 for groundbreaking initiatives that enrich the City's cultural life, helping to ensure the continued economic strength and diversity of the City's creative sector. "The New York City Cultural Innovation Fund helps provide critical support for bold ventures that energize the City's cultural life in novel ways," said Dr. Rodin. The need for a platform such as the Cultural Innovation Fund was underscored by the 2005 "Creative New York" report, prepared by the Center for an Urban Future and funded in part by the Rockefeller Foundation, which documented the crucial economic contributions made by people working in the City's many creative sectors. The report found that the vitality of these industries -- from performing and visual arts, music, film and video to broadcasting, design, publishing and advertising -- was in jeopardy. Projects selected by the Cultural Innovation Fund fall into one or more of the following categories:
-- Programming and premieres of new artistic works that demonstrate innovation and can activate new directions in the artistic breadth and depth of institutions in the visual, performing and media arts -- Creative engagement with the issues shaping New York City's future cultural and civic agenda -- Partnerships that bring cultural and community-based institutions together with universities and the private sector -- Interventions designed to confront longstanding bottlenecks and limitations to the expansion of cultural vitality with fresh approaches and solutions To qualify, organizations must be based in one of the five boroughs of New York City. Applications -- which must encompass innovative approaches -- can be submitted online, through the Rockefeller Foundation's website, www.rockfound.org, by April 4, 2008. Shortly thereafter, applicants will learn whether or not they will be invited to submit full proposals, which will be due at a date to be announced in the summer. Winners will be announced later in the year. Those who participated in last year's inaugural Cultural Innovation Fund competition are encouraged to submit ideas again this year. Selected from a pool of more than 600 organizations, the following were among the winners in 2007:
-- The Architectural League of New York ... to launch a broadband channel to bring together the most innovative ideas about the future of the urban landscape in New York City -- Bang on a Can ... to take contemporary music out of the concert hall and into the streets through the creation of mobile marching music ensembles -- The Civilians ... for a Brooklyn neighborhoods theater lab exploring the Atlantic Yards Project -- Museum of Chinese in America ... for an interactive, comprehensive historical exhibition to mark the debut of the museum in Chinatown -- Cunningham Dance Foundation ... for a program of live studio webcasts to provide public access to Merce Cunningham's creative process Again this year, three prominent leaders from the fields of innovation and the arts will serve as advisors to the Cultural Innovation Fund. They are:
-- Lowery Stokes Sims, Curator, Museum of Art & Design and former President of the Studio Museum in Harlem -- David Thorpe, Senior Partner and Global Director of Innovation, OgilvyOne Worldwide -- Andrew Zolli, Founder, Z + Partners, a consulting firm specializing in analyzing cultural, technological and global trends, and curator of the annual Pop!Tech Conference The New York City Cultural Innovation Fund builds on the Rockefeller Foundation's tradition of support for the arts. Currently, the Foundation supports artists in a variety of fields through its investments in national arts organizations including Creative Capital, United States Artists and Renew Media. Historically, the Foundation provided major support for the establishment of several of New York City's landmark cultural institutions, including Lincoln Center, the Museum of Modern Art and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. The Rockefeller Foundation was established in 1913 by John D. Rockefeller, Sr., to "promote the well-being" of humanity by addressing the root causes of serious problems. The Foundation supports work around the world to expand opportunities for poor or vulnerable people and to help ensure that globalization's benefits are more widely shared. With assets of nearly $4 billion, it is one of the few institutions to conduct such work both within the United States and internationally. For more information about the Rockefeller Foundation, or to learn more about applying for an award from the 2008 New York City Cultural Innovation Fund, please visit www.rockfound.org .
SOURCE The Rockefeller Foundation