By Barry Rochford, strategic communication officer
We recently notified educators and arts organizations about our decision to end our Art Dekko proactive grantmaking initiative. I wanted to take this opportunity to explain a little more about how we came to that decision while also affirming our continued commitment to investing in arts experiences for young people.
First, it should be said that we as a foundation love the arts. Our board and our staff love the arts for their ability to spark creativity, growth and change in young people. That’s why for more than 15 years the Dekko Foundation has invested more than $1.5 million in our grantmaking areas in Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota and Alabama through Art Dekko. On top of that, we’ve invested in other arts-related programs through our responsive grantmaking.
For those who might be unfamiliar with Art Dekko, each year in January we issued a request for proposals to invest in arts-related programming. If you’ve kept tabs on our Facebook page, you’ve seen some of the results of those Art Dekko investments.
As an organization, we, too, should grow, change and get better over time. Our founder, Mr. Chester E. Dekko, would certainly expect us to. So that’s why as we’ve thought about Art Dekko in recent months, we wondered if we could be making an even greater impact through our investments in arts programming. We believe the answer is yes.
What does that look like? When will that happen? To be honest, we’re still working on it. But we’re excited about what the future will bring, and we certainly welcome any feedback you might have.
In the meantime: We still want to invest in arts programming. We continue to welcome arts-related proposals through our responsive grantmaking process. We accept proposals daily, but since our responsive grantmaking is different from our Art Dekko initiative, we hope you’ll keep in mind the following:
- You will need to complete an application online at dekkofoundation.org/apply-now. Our staff is always available by phone to answer any questions. Once your proposal has been received, someone will come out and meet with you to learn more.
- Please allow 90 days prior to needing the funds for our staff to learn more about your proposal.
- Please be prepared to talk about how your proposal will build the skills, knowledge and character young people need to live economically free lives.