Rockefeller Foundation

Open Call: Amplify Action

“Amplify Action: Sustainability through the Arts” will be presented in Spring 2012 by the Skylight Gallery, a department of BSRC’s Center for Arts and Culture. The exhibition is conceived to demonstrate how arts, culture and media are powerful catalysts for social change, and aims to engage neighborhoods in a dialogue about sustainable living, making healthy consumer choices, and taking environmental action. Works in the exhibit will directly and indirectly examine the different components of sustainability such as, but not limited to: ecology, economy, equity, environmental consciousness, resource conservation and efficiency, agriculture, architecture, infrastructure, environmental justice and health.


The exhibition “Amplify Action: Sustainability through the Arts,” is a collaborative project of the Pratt Center for Community Development, Pratt Institute’s Initiative for Arts, Community and Social Change (IACSC), and the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation. The project is a part of the Arts Implementation Fund of the Pratt Center, recently established through a generous grant from the Rockefeller Foundation’s NYC Cultural Innovation Fund. The projects of the Arts Implementation Fund, in partnership with community based organizations in Bedford-Stuyvesant and Cypress Hills create projects that support the execution of visual and performance art works created by local artists, artist groups, and artists abroad that promote a civic dialogue about community sustainability.


More Information:

Online Application:

Community Supported Theater

A model we’ve been discussing for a while at the CSPA in regards to our producing partnerships, it’s exciting to see the idea of modeling a theater on a community agriculture model. Makes sense to us since we started trying to make it so that community wasn’t a dirty word in theater anymore.

To catch you up on the discussion we picked it up through The Artful Manager this past week:

Is unprofitable theater (or other arts endeavor) a charity, a community resource, an entitlement, a labor of love, or some combination thereof? Whatever we choose as our cluster of definitions, it will be helpful to align our business models and our resource strategies accordingly.

Which led us to Flux Theatre:

I talked a little about this model, and how it might work for Flux, in the post The Metabolism of Theatre. On the surface, this idea could feel like a reframed subscriber relationship for an age that hates subscribing. For the change to be more substantive, several conceptual and practical things need to happen.

and Stolen Chair:

For the past nine months, Stolen Chair and six other artists have been developing models for economic and financial sustainability through The Field’s Economic Revitalization for Performing Artists (ERPA) program, supported by the Rockefeller Foundation’s 2008 New York City Cultural Innovation Fund.

Jon Stancato/Stolen Chair proposed a way to adapt the business plan followed by most Community Supported Agricultures (CSAs). Like the CSA model, Stolen Chair hopes to build a membership community, a “CST”, which would provide ‘seed’ money for the company’s development process and then reap a year’s worth of theatrical harvests.


Listen to the CST model presentation for ERPA’s Public Display of Invention at WNYC’s Jerome L. Green Performance Space, Sept. 21, 2009.

ERPA Clip 5 Jon Stancato/Stolen Chair Theatre Company from The Field on Vimeo.

All of this comes out of ERPA….

Economic Revitalization for Performing Artists (ERPA – pronounced ur•pah) tackles tough economic realities on two fronts: inventive public dialogues (AKA Invention Sessions) and an ambitious entrepreneurial lab. Since 2008 ERPA dialogues have engaged more than 500 artists and cultural stakeholders in topics ranging from alternative fundraising tactics, to the romanticization of the starving artist paradigm, to a smackdown exposé on the ‘new’ economy.

The Invention Sessions helped set the stage for a competitive proposal process in November 2008, from which seven projects were selected (out of 116 applicants!) to receive Planning Grants from The Field.  Each ERPA artist received a $5,000 stipend and a variety of professional development resources to support their ideas-in-progress.  After more than a year of entrepreneurial investigations, their unique approaches to financial stability were presented in a Public Display of Invention at WNYC’s The Greene Space – visit the ERPA blog for audio coverage.  View clips from the Public Display on the ERPA vimeo channel.