The Oakland-based Kenneth Rainin Foundation has announced that after a two-year strategic review of its role in the Bay Area arts sector, it is adapting its strategic framework for the arts to provide artists and arts organizations access with the resources they need to flourish.
Over the next three years, the foundation will work to ensure that artists in the region are thriving by supporting those who push boundaries and by working collaboratively with artists, arts organizations, and other funders to drive systemic change. Among other things, the foundation will increase its funding for contemporary artists working in dance, theater, public space, and film; investigate artists' changing practices as well as organizational models with the potential to improve systems and unleash creativity; leverage its resources through collaboration; and take a "laboratory approach" to new initiatives by testing and sharing what it discovers.
Guided by the new framework, the foundation has modified its New & Experimental Works and Open Spaces programs to elevate the artist's role and vision in supported projects; is researching fellowship models that align with its priorities and provide significant direct support to individual artists; and has suspended its RENEW and Impact programs as it investigates existing and alternative organizational models and support systems.
"The Rainin Foundation is deeply committed to helping Bay Area artists thrive in today's economy," Shelley Trott, the foundation's director of arts strategy and ventures, wrote in a blog post. "The changes we are making are designed to put real momentum into finding and creating optimal conditions for art to be made. We aim to support artists in ways that will sustain their creative practice and serve our communities."
(Photo credit: Robbie Sweeney)