by Simon Mallett
Every fall, we review the Rozsa Foundation’s Granting Program, looking back at the granting we’ve done, the applications we’ve received, the context we work in, the broader granting landscape, and the conversations we’ve had with community. This review helps us address gaps and barriers, and inform necessary changes for the coming year.
The updated guidelines are now posted on our website, and we highly encourage you to read and learn more there. However, we also wanted to highlight a few specific changes we’ve made aimed at sparking a greater range of possibilities and removing some previous barriers for individuals and organizations whose aspirations align with our vision.
What Does the Rozsa Foundation Support?
The Rozsa Foundation’s Granting Program exists to support Alberta-based arts organizations undertaking capacity-building and forward-looking projects that address current and future challenges. Our grants embrace experimentation, innovation, and risk-taking in pursuit of bold new ideas.
We always encourage you to discuss project ideas prior to application. You can email Executive Director Simon Mallett at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Granting & Awards Manager Ayla Stephen at email@example.com to discuss your needs and ideas.
Application Deadline Dates
As in past years, we have three application deadlines for our grants this year: Friday, February 18th, Friday, May 6th, and Friday, October 7th. With the exception of our RAMP Capstone Project Grants (which are limited to alumni of our Rozsa Arts Management Program), these deadlines apply to all of our other granting streams. We typically assess applications and provide notification within 4 weeks from the application deadlines.
Grant Limits Increased
Recognizing increasing costs and financial needs for arts organizations, we have raised the maximum amount of our Aspiration Grants for 2022. The Aspiration Grants stream, which encompasses a wide range of supports for organizational business planning and practices, as well as programming initiatives that support organizational growth and development, is where we see most grant applications, and this grant stream will now support requests for up to $20,000, up from $15,000 in 2021.
Our Experimentation Grants stream now support more robust experiments, with grants available for up to $10,000 to test out ways of working that diverge from previous practice. Have an idea you want to test about how augmented reality might be able to boost your fundraising efforts? This is the granting program for you!
In Pursuit of a More Equitable Arts Community
The IBPOC Arts Leaders Residency Grant was introduced in the fall of 2020 to support pathways for Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour leaders in all disciplines to advance their networks, experience, skills, and knowledge. We’re now seeing the first residents complete their year-long engagements with arts organizations and have had many great conversations about this program.
This grant was designed to be iterative and responsive to feedback, and one of the themes we’ve heard is that for some folks, doing a residency at an arts organization led by an IBPOC individual was an important consideration. To better-facilitate that possibility, this grant is now able to support Calgary and area-based arts leaders to seek residencies with arts organizations anywhere across the country, in person, virtually or in a hybrid form, greatly increasing their ability to find an organization they can feel confident entering into a residency with. That organization would still apply for the grant, with the entirety of the funds then going to pay the resident for their time over the course of the year. Individuals interested in seeking a residency grant are encouraged to connect with us to discuss this grant further.
We are also committed to increasing our support for equity-deserving organizations that are not charities (who are not eligible for our grants without a charitable partner) to form partnerships and put appropriate agreements in place with charities to enable them to pursue grants for mutually aligned projects. We’re taking the guidance of some other funders who are already doing this work and are excited to see what it might open the door for us to support in the year ahead. We invite equity-deserving organizations who have projects that align with the Rozsa Foundation’s Granting Program, but don’t meet the otherwise necessary eligibility requirements, to connect with us to discuss what’s possible.
Finally, in 2021 we added a question to our grant application asking applicants to summarize the equity-oriented work that’s happening within their organizations. This was initially aimed at informing us what additional supports were needed in the community. In 2022 this component will become part of our grant assessment process, whether the equity-oriented work directly connects to the project being applied for or not. It is our hope and expectation that all arts organizations are working to become more equitable. Making this a factor in grant assessments is one way for us to make that expectation more clear.
We recognize the continued pressures facing arts organizations at this challenging time, and hope that the Rozsa Foundation Granting Program can provide support to enable organizations to continue to adapt, innovate, take risks, experiment, and find new ways forward. Again, we’re always open to having a conversation about how our grants and your ambitions might align, so please connect with us and let’s imagine what’s possible.