Announcing the 2018 Creative Work Fund Grants

On September 1, 1994, I walked into the Walter & Elise Haas Fund’s offices for my very first day of work. As I entered, so did 121 letters of inquiry addressed to the Creative Work Fund.

Typed and word-processed, these letters arrived in assorted-sized envelopes, inscribed in a melange of different fonts, and conveyed by bike messengers, postal workers, and artists. Then, mid-afternoon, in a fitting accompaniment, soft and fragrant roses — picked from someone’s garden — appeared at our front desk.

Healing Garden created with lead artist
Ann Chamberlain and the Carol Fanc Buck
Breast Health Center, 1994.

Starting with that very first batch of Creative Work Fund applications, our panel conversations were rich, our decisions hard to make, and the proposed projects inspiring in their variety. When we announced our decisions that December, the funded artworks included a stunning healing garden in a cancer treatment center, a groundbreaking mural (later stolen, but that’s another story!), a portfolio of prints, a transformed neighborhood park, and photographs documenting the lives of recent immigrants.

The Creative Work Fund believes that artists and their nonprofit partners can — through the tension of collaboration — be encouraged to draw upon their ingenuity and to rely upon their values. We have, in every year, stuck by this dual focus of supporting artists and advancing the practice of collaboration.

This year, the new letters of inquiry all arrived online. All the fonts and formatting was the same. There were no anonymous roses. However, the content of the propositions remained just as rich and our decision-making remained equally as challenging. As demonstrated by the projects selected, the Creative Work Fund’s focus on collaboration continues to invite artists to be adventurous and to challenge their ideas and their craft. Nonprofits of all kinds continue to embrace full partnerships with artists.

On July 31, the Creative Work Fund announced its latest batch of 14 grantees. These 2018 media arts and performing arts grantees are tackling climate change with humor; neighborhood transformation with filmmaking; feminism with storytelling; cultural exchange with the sitar, sarode, and a string quartet; and the impressive list goes on.

Please join the Fund in honoring and celebrating our 2018 media arts and performing arts grantees.


Arts, Blog, Grantmaking, News

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