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The Flamboyán Arts Fund grants $500K for Puerto Rican arts and culture

The Flamboyán Foundation’s Arts Fund has announced the proposals selected for “En Foco: Proyecto de Visibilización Cultural,” a grant to create projects and initiatives aimed at amplifying Puerto Rican arts and culture. 

Program grantees were chosen through a participatory process that put decision-making into the hands of the artistic community. 

“Specifically, the selected projects will amplify areas of the Puerto Rican arts and culture sector that need more visibility, including communities and nontraditional art formats that are usually underrepresented, like LGBTQ+ and Afro art in Puerto Rico. Donating this way is at the heart of Flamboyán’s commitment to equity and belonging,” the nonprofit stated.

In total, 119 proposals were received, of which five were selected. Each will receive an upfront payment of $100,000 to develop their projects. The selected proposals are: 

— Alliance of Museums of Puerto Rico: A project to build and highlight a decolonial and anti-racist narrative through Afro-art within the museums’ social and cultural spaces.

— Art Students League of San Juan: Revive the cultural magazine “Plástica” in a digital format to celebrate the work of the plastic artists in Puerto Rico and the diaspora while serving as a forum for art criticism and analysis. 

— Association of Documentarians of Puerto Rico: An initiative to facilitate the access, circulation, exhibition and consumption of Puerto Rican documentaries in the archipelago and international forums. 

— Puerto Rican Alliance for the Arts: (Paseo Cultural) Development of a weekly television program to share the art and culture of Puerto Rico and to highlight local artistic activities across the island. 

— Puerto Rico Queer Filmfest: Build and amplify the experiences and cultural contributions of the pioneering and aging LGBTQI+ community through documentary interviews. 

The participatory grant-making model was staffed by grantees from the Flamboyán Arts Fund. These artists designed each aspect of the process, starting with the purpose of the funds. From the onset, reviewers identified the need to amplify the artistic and cultural ecosystem of Puerto Rico as the main priority for the funds and established the general parameters that guided the open call.  

A steering committee was formed to evaluate the proposals and select the new grantees. From conception to implementation, every step of the process was developed and implemented by artists to support other artists.  

“We received many proposals, which demonstrates the commitment that exists between artists and cultural managers to strengthen and preserve this sector. The process for choosing the selected proposals was highly competitive. The Flamboyán Arts Fund is proud to create opportunities that empower the arts and culture in Puerto Rico and allows the sector to grow,” said Carlos Rodríguez-Silvestre, executive director of the Flamboyán Foundation in Puerto Rico. 

The Flamboyán Foundation thanked the Ford Foundation for providing financial support to the initiative. 

“We’re excited to support the work of Flamboyán Foundation,” said Rocío Aranda Alvarado, program officer for Creativity and Free Expression at the Ford Foundation. “The vision for this initiative is aligned with our mission to address the needs of those most impacted by inequality and to strengthen the pathways to bring more diverse storytelling into our communities.” 

For the grantees, receiving these funds means the opportunity to shine a light on usually underrepresented areas of the Puerto Rican arts and culture sector, the nonprofits stated.

“The organizations and artists that make up this great network (of the Puerto Rican Alliance for the Arts), work together to strengthen the arts and culture in Puerto Rico. ‘Paseo Cultural’ will be key to highlighting the diversity and richness of our cultural work. Our sincere thanks to Flamboyán Foundation for their generous support of our project,” said María del Carmen Gil, president of the Puerto Rican Alliance for the Arts. 


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