NEW YORK, June 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Rockefeller Foundation president Judith Rodin announced today the creation of a New York City Cultural Innovation Fund. The Fund will recognize and support innovation and new opportunities in the cultural arena and strengthen the role arts play in the life of the City. "The Rockefeller Foundation's New York City Cultural Innovation Fund is an ideal way to enhance the City's cultural vitality by promoting innovation in the arts," said Judith Rodin, president of the Foundation. "We're delighted that this Fund, in conjunction with our other investments in New York City, will help energize the cultural fabric of the city that has been the Foundation's home for nearly 100 years." Individual grants -- between $50,000 and $250,000 -- will be awarded annually from a $2.5 million fund for projects that fall into one or more of the following categories: -- Programming and premieres of new artistic work 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 on the expansion of cultural vitality with fresh approaches and solutions. To qualify, organizations must have an annual budget of at least $250,000. Grants will be awarded for a two-year period. To help ensure that the projects chosen by the Cultural Innovation Fund demonstrate a high potential for innovation, creative engagement and cultural vitality, the Rockefeller Foundation has named three prominent leaders from the fields of innovation and the arts to serve as advisors to the Fund: -- Lowery Stokes Sims, Visiting Professor at Queens College and Hunter College and former President of the Studio Museum in Harlem -- David Thorpe, Senior Partner and Global Director of Innovation, Ogilvy 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. "A vibrant and diverse creative sector has always been a hallmark of New York City's history and a key factor in establishing the City as a leader among global urban centers," said Darren Walker, vice president for Foundation Initiatives at the Rockefeller Foundation. "Local cultural organizations have traditionally served as the wellspring of that creative identity. Support for these cultural institutions can no longer be taken for granted, which is why the Foundation created the New York City Cultural Innovation Fund -- to help the City maintain its position as a global leader by ensuring the future vitality of its cultural sector." Other Rockefeller Foundation initiatives in New York City include the Jane Jacobs Medal, which recognizes excellence in the field of urban development. The Foundation is also a key supporter of Opportunity New York City, a public-private partnership administered by the City, that uses a poverty-reduction strategy, known as conditional cash transfers, to help ease the day-to-day challenges faced by poor families in New York City. The New York City Cultural Innovation Fund builds upon the Rockefeller Foundation's tradition of support for the arts. Currently, the Foundation supports artists in a variety of fields through its investments in a number of national arts organizations, including Renew Media, United States Artists and Creative Capital. 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. For further information about the New York City Cultural Innovation Fund, or to submit an idea, please visit http://www.rockfound.org/efforts/nycof/arts_nyc.shtml -- The deadline for initial applications is July 20, 2007. -- Applicants invited to submit a full proposal will be notified by August 20, 2007. -- The deadline for submission of full proposals is September 14, 2007. -- The Foundation will announce the Cultural Innovation grants in November 2007. 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 works 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 more than $3.5 billion, it is one of the few institutions to conduct such work both within the United States and internationally.
SOURCE The Rockefeller Foundation