GARE announces $110,000 in funding to help communities advance racial equity through the arts

The Government Alliance on Race and Equity is now accepting applications for its Innovation and Implementation Fund for the summer 2020 cycle


A crew from Mural Arts paints over a mural of divisive former mayor and police chief Frank Rizzo in Philadelphia. “We know that the removal of this mural does not erase painful memories and are deeply apologetic for the amount of grief it has caused. We believe this is a step in the right direction and hope to aid in healing our city through the power of thoughtful and inclusive public art,” the organization wrote. Image: David Maialetti/The Philadelphia Inquirer via TNS

The Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) is a national network of governments working together to achieve racial equity and advance equal opportunity for all. GARE works to do this through what it calls a multi-layered approach that involves:

  • supporting jurisdictions at the forefront of the effort by providing best practices, tools and resources to help them bolster and continue their efforts;
  • creating pathways for new jurisdictions to join and participate in the movement;
  • supporting and using collaborative strategies grounded in inclusion and equity.

The Innovation and Implementation Fund has a total budget of $110,000 provided by donations from the California Endowment, the San Francisco Foundation and the Surdna Foundation. Of $110,000, $56,000 has been allocated specifically for California applicants, with the remaining $54,000 going towards projects with a strong arts and culture or narrative focus.

Applications are only open to GARE members and requests of up to $20,000 can be made.

The Fund will prioritize projects supporting the following areas:

  • Confront structural racism using arts and culture strategies that can shift narratives in a more inclusive direction.
  • Advance a true and just reflection of the narratives of race within the cultural landscape rooted in the truth and acknowledgement of our collective histories.
  • Incorporate a structural analysis of racism in development and implementation of the proposed activities
  • Build on, align, and further work that has and is being done to advance racial equity/eliminate racial inequities in community outcomes, and eliminate structural racism.
  • Model accountable practices and relationships between participants, leadership, and partners involved
  • Center the experiences and leadership of communities most impacted by structural racial inequities, including artists of color and arts organizations led by and serving communities of color. GARE recognizes the importance of resourcing, grantmaking, funding or project-support directed specifically to small or midsize arts organizations for and by communities of color, led by staff of color, including staff at leadership levels. Small or midsize arts organizations here refer to budget size (with annual budgets of less than $500,000) and staff size (of less than 10 staff members).
  • Leverage opportunities that are likely to have the greatest impact, including through having arts and culture incorporated into existing activities, such as community engagement and budgeting
  • Produce processes and tools that can be shared and are sustainable

Examples of potential projects can be found here. All proposals will be evaluated on a point system — ranging between 0 and 100 — based on responses to the inquiries below. Maximum point scores per inquiry are listed in parentheses.

  1. A description of the project that details a prominent and explicit focus on cultural equity and justice, including the anticipated outcomes, results, and an explanation of which priorities the project meets (30 points)
  2. A description of how the project is anticipated to use cultural and narrative strategies to advance racial equity (20 points)
  3. Description of how the project resources and centers the needs of communities of color, artists of color and organizations led by and serving people of color. (25 points)
  4. A list of partners, including contact information for the project lead and all partners and a description of their roles (10 points)
  5. A total budget for the project, including identification of items to be funded by the Implementation and Innovation resource (5 points)
  6. Multiple jurisdictions, agencies or issue areas represented in the application (10 points)

Applicants may also provide additional background information they would like reviewers to consider via the upload feature on the submittable request form. Proposals have a three-page limit.

The deadline to apply is Sunday July 12 and grantees will be notified of their awards on Monday July 27.

Learn more about becoming a GARE member.

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Kenny Sokan is a freelance writer at Gov1. She is a strong believer in the power of information and creative expression, which guides her in all of the work that she does. Kenny is a graduate of Northeastern University with a BA in journalism.