Arts Funding
Tue, 09/27/2011

We are delighted that Eric Herschthal took time to research the state of arts funding in the Jewish world (“The Mixed Canvas Of Jewish Arts Funding,” Sept. 23). A few clarifications are in order.

The commissioning of the work, “Monajat,” itself cost $10,000, not $100,000 — a relatively modest amount as these things go. The entirety of the New Jewish Culture Network, including stipends for presenting the work at venues across the country, national marketing and PR, and staff costs, came to about $100,000.

Additionally, we want to underscore that the original idea of the New Jewish Culture Network, modeled after the very successful secular National Dance Project, is to achieve economies of scale, to catalyze organizations working together, which is essential to the success of the arts. Particularly in a time of depleted resources, working collaboratively is critical.

I’m sorry Herschthal didn’t get to speak with Lorre Polinger of the Howard and Geraldine Polinger Foundation, who has been behind the creation of the network over the last three years and whose perspective and risk-taking on a new initiative in difficult times is laudable. Indeed we have support from the Polinger foundation for continuing with the New Jewish Culture Network. Over the next few months, we will evaluate, regroup and select another artist from whom to commission a work.

Naturally, we need to raise more money to be able to get it on the road again; that is our next fundraising challenge. But we have no doubt that we will build on the success of “Monajat” and succeed in bringing more great, high-quality new Jewish art to audiences around the country.

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