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Why Bartol Foundation calls its funding partnership with Small But Mighty Arts a ‘win-win’

An 1812 Productions teaching artist works with students from the Widener School. March 22, 2018 Category: FeaturedFundingShort
Teamwork makes the artistic dream work.

The Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation has picked Small But Mighty Arts (SBMA) to distribute 10 micro-grants of $500 to local teaching artists. The artists will use the funding to launch or continue community-based creative projects.

Why the shared resource model of distribution? Wouldn’t it be more efficient for Bartol to distribute the micro-grants directly than using an intermediary like SBMA? Is it that SBMA, a grassroots, volunteer-run org, is better positioned to meet the needs of the artist community?

Not quite.

“Bartol is bigger than SBMA but we are still small as foundations go,” wrote ED Beth Feldman Brandt in an email — the org has a staff of one and a half and grants out about $125,000 per year. “What is interesting is that Bartol and SBMA both have strong relationships in the community in slightly different ways.”

Bartol, she said, focuses its grantmaking on teaching artists (typically via professional development workshops) and community-based arts organizations (via funding), whereas SBMA “focuses on creatives in a broader sense” and already regularly distributes micro-grants. It’s a partnership of missions — a trend they’re seeing in the larger nonprofit space.

“This partnership is powerful because you have two organizations that see value in sharing resources to increase our impact and effectiveness,” wrote SBMA ED Erica Hawthorne-Manon. “Our partnership is not only timely, but it’s nimble in our ability to galvanize our strengths rather than duplicate efforts separately. The ability to increase our outreach and maximize existing resources, also creates a pipeline for Bartol teaching artists as well as SBMA artists (representing 40+ creative disciplines), to better access opportunities.”

The two orgs are also sharing an audience engagement fellow “to reach out to new artists and cross-promote our programs,” Feldman Brandt said.

From our Partners

“Win-Win.”

Teaching artists can apply from April 2 through 14 at SBMA’s website.

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