Wilmington, Del. (January 26, 2022) – The Delaware Division of the Arts is pleased to announce the launch of the Arts Incubator Project, an assessment, training, and planning initiative built on the principles of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) for the state’s arts industry with a $1.25 million investment in the initiative.
“A diverse and thriving arts and culture sector is essential to the connection, well-being and economic prosperity of Delaware communities. Therefore, it is critical to invest in arts and culture now so that the sector is well poised to meet the increasingly complex and interrelated social and economic challenges of our time,” said Deputy Secretary of State Kristopher Knight.
Five arts organizations are participating in the pilot program including the Delaware Art Museum, Choir School of Delaware, The Delaware Contemporary, The Freeman Arts Pavilion and Clear Space Theatre Company. This cohort will receive support and guidance from a team of consultants including Caitlin Butler, Amy Sadao, and Sunanda Ghosh. Butler, Sadao, and Ghosh bring experience leading arts organizations to be more equitable, accessible, and responsive; and through that, more durable and fiscally resilient. The consultants will evaluate current financial, governance, and programmatic practices at each organization. Based on this assessment, they will collaborate to develop custom strategies for sustainable practices and programming that integrate the principles of IDEA into all aspects of each organization’s operations.
During the eight-month program, teams consisting of staff, board, and community partners will explore strengths and needs within their organizations, identify, and strategize around key priorities, and develop a plan for next steps. They will also learn from experts through a series of convenings and from each other through peer mentorship.
“We hope, as a result of this opportunity, that these organizations will experience even greater clarity around their visions and next steps, strengthened connections to peer organizations, and improved access to the resources needed to carry out this important work,” said Caitlin Butler, consultant.
During the final phase of the initiative, the arts organizations will be eligible for grant funding to support the implementation of their custom strategies and priority practices developed during the consulting period.
“The arts are a powerful tool for change and transformation, and Arts Incubator Grants awarded by the Division of the Arts will lead to sustainable and impactful outcomes that benefit the organizations as well as their communities,” said Kristin Pleasanton, Deputy Director of the Delaware Division of the Arts.
The plan is to continue the program with additional organization cohorts in 2022.
About the Delaware Division of the Arts
The Delaware Division of the Arts is an agency of the State of Delaware. Together with its advisory body, the Delaware State Arts Council, the Division administers grants and programs that support arts programming, educate the public, increase awareness of the arts, and integrate the arts into all facets of Delaware life. Funding for Division programs is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. For more information about the Delaware Division of the Arts, visit arts.delaware.gov or call 302-577-8278.
Image: Clear Space Theatre Company
Contact: Kaitlin Ammon, Program Officer, Marketing and Communications