MAP grants are designed to support the work and well-being of performing artists.
Over three decades, the program has distributed 1,400+ grants to thousands of performing artists who have offered extraordinary ideas, not simply to position themselves within a creative marketplace, but for reasons of participating in their communities’ vitality, across the United States and its territories. MAP grantees are at the forefront of re-imagining inherited models of artistic production, cultural paradigms, and related economic practices. Our seed investment is transformational in helping artists test their bold ideas and attract resources to further actualize their long-term ambitions.
Challenging existing practices in pursuit of justice
MAP grantees undertake daring projects that advance critical conversations, perception shifts, and policy change through experimentation with performance forms.
MAP removes structural barriers from the application and review process such as 501(c)(3) requirements and budget thresholds. The resources available to grantees are designed to be flexible so that artists may choose how they wish to use them.
Working together to foster a healthier environment
MAP grantees demonstrate a commitment to treating their project collaborators with care, respect, and awareness of power dynamics.
MAP staff collaborate within multiple coalition efforts across the sector to improve material conditions for all artists. MAP recognizes its function as a temporary solution to provide support to artists amidst extreme wealth inequality. Our ultimate goal is for competitive grant programs such as ours to be unnecessary.
MAP initiated Equity in the Panel Room, a robust research and learning program that led a group of grantmakers through a yearlong, deep-dive into racial equity in the panel process. One result of the group’s work together: Re:Tool Racial Equity in the Panel Process, a handbook of experiences, tips, and resources for grant administrators to operationalize equity practices in their organizations.
MAP created a partnership with Animating Democracy to incorporate Aesthetic Perspectives: Attributes of Excellence in Arts for Change in our processes as a tool for reviewers to understand, assess, and mitigate their own biases.
MAP implemented virtual panels, allowing us to put together a national cohort of artists and arts workers to review proposals. This shift drastically changed the shape of the decision-making table and exponentially increased the multiplicity of viewpoints and experience brought to bear on the selection process.
MAP distributed its pool of funds to more than four times the usual number of grantees in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These grants reached more than 1,155 artists.
MAP joined a consortium of national grantmakers to create Artist Relief, which provided rapid and unrestricted $5,000 relief grants to artists facing dire financial emergencies due to the impact of COVID-19. MAP contributed expertise on the Program and Executive Committees and helped build an equitable, simple, yet efficient grant application based on a lottery process.
In response to ongoing pandemic conditions, MAP reconfigured the program to minimize artist labor and hosted a random selection-based grant process open to 843 artists and ensembles who had already demonstrated alignment with MAP’s mission. We provided a brief entry-form and suspended merit-based peer review.
MAP’s 2022 grant cycle provided grants of $30,000 to 88 new, live performance projects across all regions of the United States.
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Banner: 2019 grantee SWITCH SIGNAL by Propelled Animals. Photo by Beth Barbis.