The $35,000 Meadows Prize for 2018 will be awarded to CultureBank, a San Francisco-based initiative that will create a new investment model to support artistic enterprises in Dallas, the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University announced.
Awarded to innovative artists and creative professionals, the Meadows Prize is an important part of SMU’s Ignite/Arts Dallas program, which couples artistic practices with community engagement in Dallas and nationwide.
“We are excited to help launch the CultureBank initiative in Dallas and form new partnerships to bring it to fruition, much as we did with Public Works Dallas in collaboration with Dallas Theater Center,” Samuel Holland, dean of the Meadows School, said in the release.
“CultureBank’s Meadows Prize residency will explore a new model for investing in the arts in Dallas.”
During the next year, Penelope Douglas and Deborah Cullinan — CultureBank’s two founding partners — will travel regularly to Dallas and, along with Ignite/Arts Director Clyde Valentín and local collaborators, they will meet with philanthropists, foundations, and venture capitalists, to establish the new investment model, according to SMU. The goal is to create a network of national and local experts and advisers to shape the Dallas investment model.
“CultureBank’s Meadows Prize residency will explore a new model for investing in the arts in Dallas,” Valentín said in the release. “Their goal is to finance entrepreneurial artists whose work aims to serve a greater purpose.”
By spring 2019, CultureBank plans to announce its first two pilot investments in the Dallas area, the university said. The initiative also will bring non-monetary support for artistic enterprises.
“By investing in these artists, we hope to help them bring about meaningful change in Dallas communities.” Valentin said. “We will also be involving Meadows students in working with the selected artists across our curricular disciplines, from the performing arts and media to our focus on arts entrepreneurship.”
CULTUREBANK MODEL AIMS TO BE SELF-SUSTAINING
CultureBank’s model seeks to create funds that are self-sustaining and will grow over time, and instead of distributing grants, the CultureBank fund in Dallas will provide numerous types of loans and investments, SMU said.
Such things as low-interest or no-interest loans, taking an equity position in an arts organization’s business or assets, or providing free business planning assistance or technical resources for a startup, are all possible scenarios under the model.
After its launch in 2016 as a initiative of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Valentín participated in a series of think tanks held by CultureBank to develop its investment model.
“CultureBank recognizes that there are assets of value in every community and that artist entrepreneurs are uniquely able to see and lift those assets.”
“CultureBank recognizes that there are assets of value in every community and that artist entrepreneurs are uniquely able to see and lift those assets,” Douglas said in the release.
SMU said that two kinds of artist-led enterprises initially will be considered for support — “place-based” investments to support endeavors in neighborhoods, and “field of interest” investments that are related to larger issues such as mental health or food security.
The fund is intended to support enterprises at various stages of growth.
“A key goal of the Meadows Prize is to support innovators in the arts who will have a positive impact on Dallas and integrate the Meadows School and its students more deeply into the community,” Holland said. “By developing a sustainable source of support for area artistic enterprises, CultureBank has the potential to create a lasting legacy in the city that will benefit students, citizens, and the artistic community for years to come.”
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