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Pillsbury House + Theatre
Pillsbury House + Theatre

Community Creativity Cohort

The Community Creativity Cohort is a one-time program to both recognize and learn from exemplary organizations that meaningfully engage people in the arts and integrate the arts into public life. These 16 organizations will inform the Foundation's future work in the arts.

Meet the Cohort

For more than 60 years, the Bush Foundation has made significant investments in the arts. The Community Creativity Cohort advances this legacy and aligns it with our work on leadership and community innovation.

The arts can be a powerful force for strengthening communities; they can inspire communities to think bigger and think differently about how to address tough challenges. But organizations working in the arts wrestle with tough challenges of their own.

By working closely with the Community Creativity Cohort, we hope to increase our understanding of these challenges and thereby strengthen our future efforts to support work that meaningfully engages people in the arts and integrates arts into public life.

WHAT WE FUND

The Community Creativity Cohort consists of 16 organizations with a proven record of working to meaningfully engage people in the arts and integrate the arts into public life. Each organization will receive an unrestricted grant of $100,000 and will work with us over a six- to nine-month period to develop a deeper understanding of key challenges associated with their work, specifically efforts to engage the community, build and support leadership, and advance racial and economic equity.

This is a one-time program that will inform the Foundation's future work in the arts.

SELECTION CRITERIA

The Foundation selected organizations with a proven record of working to meaningfully engage people in the arts and integrate the arts into public life. We prioritized organizations actively working on efforts to:

  • Engage the community. Build new social capital and connect more deeply to the community it operates within.
  • Build and support leadership. Inspire, equip and connect leadership in the sector, including staff, artists and/or constituents.
  • Advance racial and economic equity. Provide programs that tap into the power of arts and culture to increase equity, inclusion and representation.

To determine what organizations best fit the goals of the Cohort, the Foundation considered the following questions as it reviewed applications.

  • Has the organization demonstrated success at meaningfully engaging people in arts and/or meaningfully integrating arts into public life?
  • Is the organization currently working to increase community engagement, build new leadership in the sector and/or advance racial and economic equity?
  • Has the organization demonstrated some progress on the above issue(s), and are they continuing to try new, creative strategies?
  • Is the organization willing to share its work and current learning with the Foundation and the Cohort?
  • How significant is the contribution the organization and its designated individual(s) will make to the learning Cohort?

To ensure that the Cohort brings a diverse set of perspectives to the table, we will seek a balance among participants across variety of types of arts engagement and arts integration efforts, size and type of community, size of applicant organization, demographics and geography of communities served, and discipline and organization type.

HOW TO APPLY

The Community Creativity Cohort accepted applications between August 12 and October 16, 2014. This is a one-time Cohort opportunity at the Bush Foundation.

SELECTION PROCESS

Initial Review. Foundation staff conducted an initial review of applications, after which a portion of applications moved on to a final review panel.

Final Selection. We conducted a phone interview to learn more about organizations. A final review panel (comprised of Bush Foundation staff, Board members and community members) selected the Community Creativity Cohort participants.

COHORT EXPERIENCE

During the six- to nine-month Community Creativity Cohort experience, participants commit to:

  • Write a monthly reflection on how their work is progressing, with a focus on (a) efforts to more meaningfully engage people in the arts and/or more meaningfully integrate arts into public life, and/or (b) work to actively increase community engagement, build new leadership in the sector, and/or advance racial and economic equity.
  • Attend two, two-day Cohort learning sessions to share their progress and engage in conversation about their own needs as well as the needs of the larger arts and culture field.
WE’RE HERE TO HELP

For more information, or to talk with a Foundation staff member about this program, call 651-379-2252 or email CCC@BushFoundation.org.