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Howard Gilman Foundation Awards $100k Challenge Grant To The Cultural Solidarity Fund

The Cultural Solidarity Fund, administered by the Indie Theater Fund with leadership by LEIMAY, provides relief microgrants of $500 to artists and cultural workers.



The Howard Gilman Foundation has awarded a $100,000 challenge grant to the Cultural Solidarity Fund (CSF), an initiative administered by the Indie Theater Fund with leadership by the arts collective LEIMAY and organized by a consortium of 20 NYC arts and cultural organizations, in support of not only artists but also cultural workers who are facing immediate challenges with rent, food insecurity, and medical, child, and elder care emergencies.

With the New York Arts and Culture sector contributing nearly $120 billion and 7.8% of the state's GDP, more than Construction and Education Services combined, the arts are a major driver in New York's local economy. The first industry to close its doors during the COVID-19 crisis and the last to reopen, this workforce is critical to the US economy's recovery.

The Cultural Solidarity Fund, administered by the Indie Theater Fund with leadership by LEIMAY, provides relief microgrants of $500 to artists and cultural workers including individual artists, administrators, production staff, custodians, art educators, ushers, guards, and others. In so doing, it prioritizes the Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), immigrant, undocumented, disabled/deaf, and trans and gender-nonconforming individuals who have been most severely impacted by the pandemic both epidemiologically and economically.

In the spirit of coalition and resource sharing, NYC arts and cultural organizations of all sizes and structures continue to come together to grow a joint Cultural Solidarity Fund. This coalition both envisions and provides an interim model of a sustainable economic system for cultural workers in NYC, similar to those currently initiated in San Francisco and other US cities.

The current Organizing Group of the Cultural Solidarity Fund emerged out of the Culture@3 daily calls and comprises 17 organizations that meet weekly in collective decision making and idea implementation processes. These organizations include: Dancewave, Dance Parade, Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, Elevator Repair Service, HERE, Hi-ARTS, José Limón Dance Foundation, LEIMAY, Mark Morris Dance Group, NYC & Company, New Yorkers for Culture and Arts, Performance Space New York, Theater for a New Audience, The Bushwick Starr, and The Indie Theater Fund with additional support from ADVANCE/MORE Opera and Bronx Arts Ensemble.


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