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I Am Proud to See GCAC Embrace Community Grantmaking 

in Tom Katzenmeyer March 14, 2024 1 min read

I Am Proud to See GCAC Embrace Community Grantmaking 

We recently announced that GCAC is engaging the community in the application review and funding process for two of our grant programs, Artist Projects and Project Support. It is my hope that you will join us in this endeavor.  

Anyone residing in Franklin County can participate in this process. Whether you are an artist, educator, art consumer, new to the arts, or even an applicant; you can participate.  All you need to do is submit an interest form that indicates you want to participate. You will need to be available May 4 for an in-person review day, and for a few hours before May 4 for training and grant reading.  

Though new to GCAC, community grantmaking has been in use for decades across the globe. It is a tool to shift power dynamics inherent within funding environments. Power is transferred to the community to reflect the many perspectives, identities and interests of our diverse city. Community grantmaking also demystifies the grantmaking process, with the intention of making more artists and groups more comfortable with applying for funding. 

When we first noted our intention to launch a community grantmaking process, we got feedback from some understandably concerned constituents. This new approach to reviewing and evaluating grant applications is a big change, and change can be scary.  

However, we spent more than a year researching this process and carefully developing a program that would work for GCAC’s needs. We believe that community grantmaking is an important step in GCAC’s equity work and its commitment to collective decision-making.  

As I noted, we are currently recruiting grant reviewers, and anyone can participate. Our goal is to have at least 200 people at the table—or actually at many tables.  

We will create small working groups from our pool of reviewers and each group will review and evaluate four to five grants. This means that artists applying for Artist Project grants can join in the review process because we can ensure the applicant is in a group that is not evaluating their own application. Our intention is that each working group be diverse in a myriad of ways.  

My hope is that everyone reading this will participate. Please visit the Community-Based Review webpage to learn more and fill out the short form to take a seat at the table.