EmcArts invites applications for Round 5 of the Innovation Lab for the Performing Arts
RFP Released, Proposals will be accepted through September 1, 2010
June 14, 2010—In 2010, EmcArts, the leading nonprofit provider of innovation services to the arts sector, will further advance its pioneering Innovation Lab for the Performing Arts, an immersive innovation program for arts organizations. The Innovation Lab is funded by a generous $1.6 million grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF). Since launching in 2008, 12 organizations from across the country have taken part in the Innovation Lab.
EmcArts is pleased to partner with DDCF to deliver three Rounds (4 - 6) of the program to 11 participating organizations from across the country in 2010 and 2011. Eligible organizations are producing, presenting and service organizations in theater, modern/contemporary dance, and jazz.
Round 4 has closed: Three organizations were selected via panel review in June 2010. Organizations selected for Round 4 will be announced by EmcArts later this month.
Organizations are selected to participate in the Innovation Lab via a competitive national RFP process. The application deadline for Round 5 of the Lab is Wednesday, September 1, 2010. Professionally managed producing, presenting and service organizations in theater, modern/ contemporary dance, and jazz are eligible to apply for the Lab. Questions about eligibility and submitting a proposal should be directed to Beth Harrington, Innovation Projects Manager, at (212) 362-8541 x 34.
About the Innovation Lab
Originally launched in 2008 with a DDCF grant of $1.5 million, EmcArts’ Innovation Lab helps teams from nonprofit theater, dance, and jazz organizations design and prototype new ideas and launch real-life projects that address major challenges facing arts and cultural organizations. Participants take part in a 12-month immersion program featuring an extended framework of individual coaching and group facilitation, guided by field research and led by EmcArts’ expert facilitators. Ultimately, the Lab gives arts organizations the time and space they need away from the regular workplace to plan, engage, participate and learn how to innovate effectively. Participating organizations also receive much-needed risk capital to underwrite experimentation.
Of the Lab, its external evaluator wrote in 2010: “[The program] provides a needed antidote to the general trend of throwing resources, time and energy toward flavor-of-the-month initiatives that seem attractive in turbulent times.”
EmcArts’ Innovation Lab has three phases:
Phase 1 – EmcArts works to identify an Innovation Team (of up to 10 people) at each participating organization, which then explores new approaches, defines project goals and success measures, and conducts pertinent research over four months.
Phase 2 – Innovation Teams from all participating organizations attend a 5-day Intensive Residential Retreat that serves as a “project accelerator,” giving teams time to focus on key decisions about their projects.
Phase 3 – EmcArts grants Lab participants $30,000 in seed money (plus $9,000 in unrestricted funds) to support the prototyping and evaluation of innovative strategies over six months, before full launch.
The partnership with DDCF provides funding for three Rounds of the Lab, with each Round comprised of three or four organizations. Round 5 will launch in September 2010 and end in July 2011. Round 6 will be announced with a respective RFP later in 2010.
To date, 12 organizations have participated in the Innovation Lab, representing a range of disciplines and launching a variety of innovative initiatives in community engagement, uses of technology, collaborative programming and strategic alliances, among others. Past participants include: MAPP International Productions (NY); Roadside Theater/Appalshop (KY); The Civilians (NY); STREB Lab for Action Mechanics (NY); HERE Arts Center (NY); Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (CA); Children’s Theatre Company (MN); Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OR); Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, with Dance Theatre Workshop (NY); University Music Society, Ann Arbor (MI); Center of Creative Arts – COCA (MO); and Liz Lerman Dance Exchange (MD).
Recognized as the leading nonprofit provider of innovation services to the arts sector nationwide, EmcArts (www.EmcArts.org) serves as a nonprofit intermediary for arts funders, and as a re-granting agency and service organization for the arts field around innovation. Our innovation programs support the development and implementation of mission-centered new strategies by arts organizations of all sizes. The programs range from directly incubating specific innovation projects to introductory programs that enable new thinking and build a culture of innovation across local arts communities. EmcArts is a 501(c)(3) organization.
The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (www.ddcf.org) is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research, and the prevention of child maltreatment, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties.