Public Funding – Mixing stability and agility p2

I’ve got some interesting feedback / questions for clarity from the last post in the comments and off line. Thought I’d post some more thoughts here, on whether 5 years is too long
The reason I like 5 is that I think it’s hard to know (sometimes) whether something is going well or not until year 3, and I’m nervous about constantly writing big grants.

and yes, 5/3 cycle funding would be a replacement for “operating”
multi-year project grants (2-4 years) are a different good idea.

Maybe the whole package is something that looks like:

  • Short turn around micro grants / recommenders: There are little ($500-$2,000) things that need to get done quickly.
  • Project Grants: Pretty much like what we have.
  • Multiyear project grants: Covering 2-4 years and focused on a single “project” but including some operating expenses (covering activity outside of the single project like admin and ancillary projects)
  • Operating Cycle Funding: Described in the post. Allows for flexibility and stability and isn’t as focused on a single project, but on a breadth of activity.

Also I’m in favour of radically changing peer jury system – changing especially how disciplines and scales are thought of. Right now most of my frustrations are about the decisions being made by the juries, not the system. But the changes in the system could help. Again, there’s more detail on options in Shannon Litzenberger’s Metcalf paper, Choreographing our Future.

2 thoughts on “Public Funding – Mixing stability and agility p2

  1. It’s been my feeling for a while now that one huge thing that’s missing from the current system is the role – the potential role, I guess – of the Council’s as ambassadors to the bigger corporate and higher end private patronage, to say “here they are, the cream of our crops.. they’ve risen of the top of our systems and have proven themselves to be worthy of support. Now, we need YOU to take them on, to support them and sponsor them and carry them forth because we’ve got several generations of worthy candidates who also need fostering”
    I have no doubt there are those who would rather not see that happen. Don’t think I don’t get it..

    Still. Wouldn’t it be nice??

    1. Thanks for commenting.I think the OAC and Canada Council are doing more of “telling success stories” on their pages that may help with sponsors and the TAC is supporting Business for the Arts and the Artsvest program that matches sponsorship money. Council support is also helpful when applying to foundations.

      Sponsorship is so much about the right fit between the sponsor and the event or program, that it’s hard for 3rd parties to get involved.
      Another issue remains that the Councils role includes supporting work that is intimate, research-based or outside of the mainstream commercial frame – i.e. work that won’t get responses from large sponsors who are largely interested in profile and marketing reach.

      Another thing I hear maybe is a question of whether the career path of an artist should be taking them off gov’t funding. Again, my feeling is that it is dependant on the type of work. Someone wanting seed money for a commercial venture shouldn’t be on the roster forever, but someone working on the margins and/or closer to research will need ongoing support.

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