Monday, December 3, 2007

Sexy Performing Arts, Anyone?

The Nonprofit Finance Fund has announced a grant of more than $15 million from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation to launch a national initiative called Leading for the Future: Innovative Support for Artistic Excellence.

The initiative will support up to ten leading dance, jazz, theater, and presenting organizations with grants of $800,000 to $1.8 million, plus technical and advisory assistance, in support of new programmatic, financial, and operational approaches designed to enhance their effectiveness, adapt to complex trends affecting the performing arts, and demonstrate what works to the broader performing arts field.

The largest performing arts grant in DDCF history is part of the foundation's new strategy in arts programming. While the foundation will maintain its commitment to contemporary dance, jazz, and presenting, as well as its national scope and strategy of awarding large, multiyear grants, it hopes to increase the flexibility of how its funds are used and will focus on bold new strategies and a holistic approach to how arts organizations operate.

"We hope that the approach of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation will inspire others in the field," said NFF president Clara Miller. "Since the focus here is on innovation and experimentation at the 'enterprise level' of the arts, we hope we'll learn — and demonstrate — something valuable to all. DDCF's flexible use of funds, its approach of partnering with organizations pursuing new financial and operating approaches, and its focus on the role of transformational capital makes this initiative a truly important breakthrough."

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