Rockefeller Foundation Opens 2009 NYC Cultural Innovation Fund Competition

Jan 07, 2009, 16:05 ET from The Rockefeller Foundation

NEW YORK, Jan. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the Rockefeller Foundation announced the opening of its 2009 New York City Cultural Innovation Fund competition. The fund, established in 2007, annually awards $2.7 million in grants -- ranging between $50,000 and $250,000 -- to spur and support cultural innovation in New York City's creative sector, a vital economic engine.

"The Rockefeller Foundation is proud to build on our history of enabling creative expression in our hometown," said Judith Rodin, the Foundation's President. "For nearly a century, we've acted on the recognition that there is an inextricable connection between cultural advances and social progress. By celebrating and sponsoring cutting-edge artistic innovation, the New York City Cultural Innovation Fund helps strengthen both."

Projects selected for funding fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • creative engagement with the issues shaping New York City's future cultural and civic agenda;
  • programming and premieres of new artistic work that demonstrate fresh perspectives and can activate new directions in the visual, performing and media arts;
  • new partnerships among cultural organizations, community-based institutions, 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 -- must be submitted online, through the Rockefeller Foundation's website,, by midnight on February 9, 2009. Shortly thereafter, applicants will learn if they will be invited to submit full proposals. Winners will be announced later in the year.

Three prominent leaders from the fields of innovation and the arts will again 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, former Global Director of Innovation, OgilvyOne Worldwide, and
  • 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. The Foundation has funded arts organizations and provided support for the formation of several of New York City's landmark cultural institutions, including Lincoln Center, the Museum of Modern Art, Creative Capital, and the Tribeca Film Institute.

The Rockefeller Foundation, established by John D. Rockefeller, Sr., in 1913, works around the world to ensure that individuals, communities, and institutions can tap into growth and opportunity while building stronger resilience to risks and challenges. Since 2005, the Rockefeller Foundation has launched major efforts to bolster local resilience to the global climate crisis, mobilize an agricultural revolution in Africa, plan New Orleans' recovery from Hurricane Katrina, and shape more sustainable transportation policies in the United States. In 2008, the Foundation commenced a $70 million Campaign for American Workers to develop new policy proposals and financial products that promote and protect savings, access to health care, and secure retirements. For more information, visit

SOURCE The Rockefeller Foundation