Community Innovation Lab

Posted by EmcArts on March 21, 2016

EmcArts Issues Call for Community Innovation Lab LOIs

EmcArts, with support from the Kresge Foundation, is accepting Letters of Inquiry from groups of two to three stakeholders/organizations interested in establishing a Community Innovation Lab in their community in 2016-17.

Building on work currently under way in pilot sites in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and Providence, Rhode Island, the labs are an intervention designed to help communities use the arts to bring stakeholders from different sectors together in innovative new ways in response to a specific community challenge. Designed and facilitated by EmcArts, the labs prioritize four key principles: 1) a focus on building dense, cross-sector networks; 2) a willingness to slow down in order to see systems as a whole; 3) an ability to harvest the unique contributions of artists and cultural workers; and 4) a willingness to let go of linear planning in favor of experimental learning. Labs in two new communities in the U.S. will offer the opportunity for local stakeholders to take on an urgent and specific social challenge by using artistic practices to advance innovative responses to that challenge.

Community stakeholders include local arts organizations, city agencies, community foundations, academic institutions, and community-based organizations. While not required, priority will be given to group inquiries that reflect cross-sector collaborations or partnerships.

A grant of $250,000 from the Kresge Foundation to EmcArts will cover program design and facilitation, including travel and accommodations. Selected communities will need to raise a community matching grant of $100,000 to cover the cost of fees for local facilitators and artists, participant stipends, convening costs, and research. The matching grant needs to be pledged in advance of the start date for the work and no later than July 2016, and must be available to be applied to lab expenses no later than September 2016.

LOIs from interested groups must be received no later than April 11, 2016. Upon review, selected applicants will be invited to select a full proposal. EmcArts will be hosting a sixty-minute informational webinar on the LOI process on March 22, 2016, at 1:00 p.m. (EST).

See the EmcArts website for complete program guidelines, descriptions of pilot labs currently under way, and application instructions.


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