Launched in 2007, the fund awards two-year grants of between $50,000 and $250,000 in support of groundbreaking initiatives that enrich New York City's cultural life and help ensure the continued economic strength and diversity of the city's creative sector. Two prominent leaders from the fields of innovation and the arts — David Thorpe, director of innovation at the Institute for State Effectiveness, and Z + Partners founder Andrew Zolli, who also curates the annual Pop!Tech conference — served as advisors to the fund.
This year's recipients include the Dance Theatre of Harlem, which will use its grant to develop an in-person and online program linking dancers and choreographers with non-dancers; Exit Art, which will use the funds to develop the city's first theater focused on micro-financed digital cinema from underrepresented countries; and the New York Foundation for the Arts, which will use its grant to stage the first-ever multi-disciplinary festival of Cambodian arts in partnership with Cambodian Living Arts.
"The [foundation] is thrilled to continue our tradition of supporting art and creativity right here in our home town of New York City through the Cultural Innovation Fund," said Rockefeller Foundation president Judith Rodin. "As the creative sector continues to struggle in today's economy, it is critical that our city's artists have the resources they need to continue to create innovative thought provoking work that challenges all of us to question and learn new things."