From time to time, we feature a fiscally sponsored project who has been successful at using our program to advance their art, cause, or career. We want to use our platform to give our artist community a boost in visibility. We hope that by sharing how some of our members are using Fractured Atlas programs, other artists – whether or not they work with us already – can find some useful inspiration to support their own creative projects.
Innovation is essential for supporting artists and arts organizations. If we aren’t able to adapt to changing times, to find new and better ways of working, we aren’t able to serve our community to our fullest extent.
Learn how to use the Theory of Change model to map out your plan and evaluate what's working. Subscribe to the blog and get your printable copy.
Every month, Fractured Atlas provides a list of upcoming grant opportunities for artists and arts-based projects so that you can discover more opportunities to get financial support for your work. As a fiscal sponsor of 4000+ artistic projects, we provide access to grants for artists in every discipline.
Since 2002, jazz vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter Allan Harris and his wife Pat Harris have been telling the story of Black cowboys in the American West through a musical called "Cross That River.” Harlem-based Allan and Pat Harris wrote the book for the musical, and Allan provided the music and lyrics. "Cross That River" follows Blue, a man who escaped slavery and finds a new life as a cowboy. The Harrises hope to “bring attention to the history of these people of color who helped to settle the West and whose achievements have been deliberately omitted from our history books.”
Fractured Atlas tries to be transparent about How We Work. Especially when it comes to the transition we made to becoming a fully distributed team. Over three years, we slowly wound down the number of people coming into our Manhattan office, and in late 2019, we fully flipped the switch. Here’s what it looked like for us to transition to a virtual team.
At Fractured Atlas, it’s an understatement to say that we deal with grants a lot.
Huge numbers of artists and creatives are out of work as a result of COVID-19. And while we recognize that grants, fundraisers, and government aid are crucial right now, we know that they aren’t sufficient for us to rebuild our sector. We need systemic change to the ways that we work together, and in the ways that we work with clients and employers. One possible structure to build systemic change is cooperatives, or co-ops. Cooperatives are formed when groups of people pool resources and share in decision-making to share in risk and reward. In co-ops, workers are the owners.
The life of an artist can be a financially precarious one. You might be spending a big chunk of your own personal money buying supplies, traveling for research and then to show your work, or hiring outside help with funds out of your pocket to realize your vision. You might never see that money come back in the form of sales, royalties, or freelance jobs. And in case of emergency, artists are hard-hit. As we’ve seen in the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, when an emergency happens and planned contracts or shows fall through, there aren’t real safety nets for artists. There are very few formal mechanisms to support creatives and freelancers in an economic crisis, even though art has been more crucial than ever in the age of social distancing. We’ve seen tremendous and inspiring work to support artists in emergency. We’ve seen emergency grants, mutual aid funds, and spontaneous organizations of artists sharing resources and supporting each other. But we know that that isn’t enough.
Maybe you’ve recently published a statement in support of Black Lives Matter and committed publicly to begin working towards being an anti-racist organization. Maybe folks internally or externally are asking what changes you plan to make after seeing that statement. Maybe you think that you’ll have your staff go through a full staff training and will be “done with it.” Maybe you’re a white person in an organization who thinks that it’s not something you need to worry about because it’s something that some other department needs to figure out. That’s not enough. If we are committing to being anti-racist organizations, we have a lot of work to do that touches every organization and every department. There is a lot of rightful skepticism about statements companies are making right now, so how can we as organizations work towards making sure these statements are not hollow or performative?
As an artist, you need money to make your work. You might need money to pay someone to build your website, run lights for your play, or purchase the raw materials to make costumes.