Media Arts Means Social Movement for This Foundation

The Bay & Paul Foundations make grants with a desire to support a social movement that creates a just and ecologically sound society. Or, as the foundation states: “Our vision is of vibrant communities whose skillful collaborations assure just and ecologically robust outcomes for present and future generations.”

Film/media arts is an aspect of that vision, though not this funder's primary arts focus. The funding that does occur filters through The Bay & Paul Foundations' Arts & Humanities Education giving area. And while film/media arts is not its emphasis, what is interesting and potentially promising for your film/media arts program is how the foundation distinguishes itself from other arts education funders by stressing it's as interested as much in adult education as in youth. That means more opportunities and more flexibility for how your program can synergize with the idea of arts education, which really is more closely related to arts engagement for this funder. In fact, The Bay & Paul Foundations also emphasize that while your film/media arts program can take place in a classroom setting, it’s more interesting to them if it doesn’t. The foundation encourages you to think outside the box:

. . . we favor initiatives that engage the broader community to help youth and adults acquire powerful expressive literacies and cross-cultural intelligences. Our grantees embrace the arts not as an adjunct or “enrichment” offering but as central to learning, growth, achievement, and an evolving sense of personal and collective identity.

This expression of arts education also fits in with the foundation's mission “to foster and accelerate initiatives that prepare agents of change working to strengthen our social compact and develop authentic solutions to the challenges of this pivotal century.”

Other key words reinforcing this foundation’s view of its granting as a “social compact” are found in its values statement: Courage, patience, humility, listening, understanding, collaboration, opportunities.

For film and media arts programs, it boils down to recent support that includes $50,000 to Allied Media Projects (Detroit, MI); $7,500 to BRIC Arts (Brooklyn, NY) and $1,000 to the Film Society of Lincoln Center (New York, NY).

The Bay & Paul Foundations strongly prefer to support arts programs in the New York City area, but as shown above, that's not an absolute. (For the record, Vermont is another geographic focus for this funder, though it’s not formally stated.) The foundation has an open, online LOI process. Biannual deadlines vary; check the website for upcoming dates.