For many of these organizations, funds from the unrestricted grants will not just help cover costs, but will provide essential wiggle room so they can take a long-term view. With some of their baseline costs covered for two years, they can afford to examine how their activities can bolster the art ecosystem locally and nationally.
“[This grant] gives us the breathing room to bring our core collaborators—artists, community, and staff—to the table for longer-term organizational planning,” said Jackie Clay, the executive director of the Coleman Center for the Arts.
Clay noted that this type of support from major national funding organizations has been rare for the Coleman Center because it speaks to a relatively small community. “When we have 20 to 50 folks at an event, it may not sound like much, but there’s only 13,000 in the entire county,” she explained. “We have to use rubrics beyond audience attendance to measure the work we’re doing in the community and with artists.”