Fund for the Arts announces pilot crowdsourcing program fueled by Jennifer Lawrence Fund

Jennifer Lawrence supports Louisville arts.

Jennifer Lawrence supports Louisville arts.

The Fund for the Arts has announced nine art-based projects that will make up the pilot session of the crowdfunding ArtsMatch program. These nine programs will be able to raise funds through the Fund for the Arts and have their donors’ dollars matched by the Jennifer Lawrence Arts Fund at the Fund for the Arts.

Fund for the Arts will match dollar for dollar the funds raised through the ArtsMatch crowdfunding platform.

The projects are from Americana Community Center Inc., Commonwealth Theatre Center, Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, Looking for Lilith Theatre Company, Appalatin, CirqueLouis, Louisville Ballet School, Squallis Puppeteers, and Louisville Visual Art. The projects were chosen by a committee of 13 people from the arts community out of 32 submitted projects.

“We are incredibly grateful to leverage the Jennifer Lawrence Arts Fund at the Fund for the Arts to increase access to the arts for new and diverse audiences in this first cycle of ArtsMatch,” said Christen Boone, Fund for the Arts President and CEO, in a news release. “We believe these arts-based projects help to break down traditional barriers for nontraditional audiences, promote cultural equity and bring our community together in new ways.”

Here is the Fund for the Arts description of the projects and the amount each hopes to raise:

  • Americana Creative Arts Program at Americana Community Center will expand creative arts opportunities for more than 250 refugee, immigrant and underserved children, building self-confidence, improving English language skills and enhancing community bonds ($5,000).
  • Building Character and Staging Success, a collaboration of Commonwealth Theatre Center, Louisville Central Community Centers and the Louisville Urban League, will create a youth drama training program, using the power and joy of theater to build artistic, academic and social skills for youth living west of the “9th Street Divide” ($10,000).
  • CHOICES: An Interactive Play on CyberBullying and Teen Suicide, a production of Looking for Lilith Theatre Company, will engage middle and high school students in the action of a play, allowing them to proactively rehearse responses to cyberbullying ($5,000).
  • Cornbread & Tortillas, a one-day festival, will engage attendees in free interactive learning opportunities that explore and celebrate through song, story, dance and music the common ground between Appalachian and various Latin American cultures ($2,645).
  • Love City – Social Circus, a partnership of Cirque Louis and Love City, offers at-risk children and young adults residing in the Portland neighborhood the opportunity to express themselves, learn teamwork, enhance physical fitness through circus arts ($1,250).
  • Nurturing Pathways at Sun Valley Community Center, a collaboration of the Louisville Ballet School and Sun Valley Community Center, will offer an early childhood development dance program that builds bodies to be capable and confident, brains that are school-ready, and bonds between parent and child ($1,250).
  • Telling our Tales: Plays from West Louisville, a partnership of the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, the Black Media Collaborative and the African American Theatre Program at the University of Louisville, will offer playwriting workshops to West Louisville community members as a tool for exploring critical issues and as a means for celebrating the successes and achievements of West Louisvillians. ($10,000).
  • Touring Programs Expansion Project will expand Squallis Puppeteers’ capacity to provide educational and enriching arts experiences to students and adults in classrooms, libraries and community centers across the region ($10,000).
  • Veterans for Peace Mural Project, a partnership of Louisville Visual Art, KY National Association of Black Veterans, the Indiana University Southeast student veterans group and Peace Postcards, will engage local veterans in a hands-on project to celebrate their service, depict their vision for peace and provide an outlet for creative and personal expression ($4,375).

The Fund for the Arts’ previous crowdfunding portal, power2give “did not have funding themes, and the projects were unrelated,” Boone told IL in an email. Also, the projects were restricted to those hosted by a 501(c)(3) organization. “By eliminating the requirement for 501(c)(3), this program is designed to be more inclusive, to attract more diverse partners and promote cultural equity in funding opportunities,” she said.

“The selected projects are announced publicly at once and promoted together for two months, then closed together. The Fund for the Arts and the cultural providers will collaboratively promote the opportunities to the community, leveraging our deep database of friends and supporters, and encouraging engagement with the arts in new and inspiring ways,” Boone said.

With power2give, organizations were largely left on their own to promote their projects, with limited assistance from the Fund for the Arts.

The next round of crowdsourcing will be in the spring.