Member Spotlight: Flamboyan Foundation

For the month of November, GIA’s photo banner features work supported by Flamboyan Foundation.

This is the text Flamboyan Foundation submitted for this Spotlight:

Born from a groundbreaking partnership between the Flamboyan Foundation, Lin-Manuel Miranda and his family, and the Broadway musical Hamilton, the Flamboyan Arts Fund preserves, amplifies, and strengthens the arts in Puerto Rico. In just 3 years – and in response to the devastating effects of Hurricanes María and Irma – the Arts Fund has provided critical support to 541 artists and 106 arts organizations including museums, theaters, arts education programs, and concert venues to maintain the integrity of their programming, increase their visibility, and sustain their impact.

The Arts Fund has provided multi-year, unrestricted grants to arts and culture organizations around the island, totaling nearly $10 million dollars in grants. These organizations are pillars of Puerto Rico’s cultural heritage, and the grants have provided the funding and flexibility to ensure that they can continue their artistry and connecting with their communities.

While the Arts Fund continuously seeks new ways to support not only our grantees but the whole cultural ecosystem of the islands, three current projects really excite us: Letras Boricuas Fellowship, participatory grantmaking, and a shared services initiative.

Letras Boricuas
The Letras Boricuas Fellowship is a new opportunity sponsored by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and The Flamboyan Foundation’s Arts Fund, which provides 30 Boricua writers living in Puerto Rico or the United States— 15 selected in 2021 and 15 selected in 2022 — $25,000 each. Recipients will also participate in a gathering of all 30 Fellows to be hosted in San Juan, tentatively scheduled for April 2023.

While fellowship award funds are unrestricted, we hope to support writers in Puerto Rico and across the diaspora to pursue their writing, amplify their work to a broader audience, and create literature that celebrates Puerto Rican life and culture. Each Fellowship cohort will include writers of different genres and writers with experiences living both on and off the island but who share the bond of Puerto Rican identity. The first cohort will be announced in Fall 2021, with the fellowship running from January to December 2022. The second cohort will be announced in Fall 2022, with the fellowship running from January to December 2023.

Participatory Grantmaking
The Arts Fund has always incorporated feedback from arts organizations and artists in parts of the grantmaking process, and we are deepening our commitment to their voices by putting grantmaking decisions in their hands through participatory grantmaking. This type of grantmaking is not only more effective, but demonstrates a paradigm shift in how we work with our grantees as agents of change in their communities rather than simply beneficiaries of aid. This new initiative could set a precedent in Puerto Rico's cultural sector by proposing an innovative and participatory shift toward funding. By documenting this process as a case study, we hope it will serve as a guide for those organizations who value collective participation and share the decision-making process with their constituents.

Shared Services
Arts organizations with limited financial resources often struggle to build the administrative and operational capabilities needed to reach sustainability and thrive. In addition, administrative tasks can take away from the time that arts leaders spend producing art and providing services to communities. In the El Nido Cultural initiative, Inversión Cultural and the Flamboyan Arts Fund have collaborated to launch an innovative shared services program for arts organizations in Puerto Rico. Through the shared services model, El Nido Cultural provides back-office services including accounting, human resources, legal, fundraising, and strategic planning. This type of support is game changing for organizations who will now have the internal structures and systems to build scale their work and deepen their artistic contributions to the field.

To know more about our work, please visit our website.

Flamboyan Foundation joined Grantmakers in the Arts in 2021.

You can also visit Flamboyan Foundation’s photo gallery on GIA’s Photo Credits page.

Image: Courtesy: Flamboyan Foundation

Every year ACirc summons dozens of street and circus artists to present the CircoFest in Puerto Rico: a two-day event that occupies various public spaces in the city for their performances. In the photo, one of the presentations taking place in the emblematic Plaza del Quinto Centenario in Old San Juan.