January 12, 2012

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The Bowl has been dominated with less than positive news in the past couple of weeks. Much has been said about the persistent problems of violence that tarnish our reputation as a city and its vision, so this week we’re happy to report about some unique people and organizations that can produce results in areas where they apply themselves.

The announcement last week that the MakeWork program had successfully met it’s fundraising challenge of 2:1 match offered by the Lyndhurst Foundation was shaft of light for those who might be less than enthused about our city’s New Year start. The organization has raised $300,000 for the artist entrepreneurial program.

Born out of CreateHere, which is in its last days of “Supernova,” the self-imposed plan of the parent organization to cease to exist, but continues it’s genetic legacy through ventures like MakeWork. Theses grants are made to artists who look to produce new ventures. The grants are awarded in three major categories: Project Grants, Studio Assistance or Career Advancement Grants, with the maximum amount awarded being $15,000.

The diversity of past recipients were on display at MakeWork’s annual showcase on Dec. 3, 2011, during the MAINX24 festival, and it’s that diversity that is a core strength of the program. The larger idea behind this is the fundamental belief that those who work in the creative fields can invest in the community and have economic and cultural impacts. According to a report from the Och’s Center for Metropolitan Studies, between 2008 and 2011, 472 individuals applied for MakeWork grants which selected 84 applicants awarding a combined investment of $655,000.

With grant recipients spanning a wide range of concentrations, the investment in the “creative economy” looks to continue providing support for what is often the most visible and intrinsically valued portions of our city. It’s likely anyone reading this has been impacted by one of these grant recipients. With the successful matching funds now being secured, it’s likely that impact will be reaching even further.

And here’s a hint for any MakeWork grant Artists reading this that are looking for a good space to explore doing something creative in, 412 Market Street (soon to be vacated by Mosaic) is available.

January 12, 2012

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