Solidarity Fund for Arts and Culture Structures in Lebanon
open call
15 May 2020
deadline
15 Jun 2020
announcement
07 Aug 2020

The Arab Fund for Arts and Culture and Culture Resource launch a Solidarity Fund to support Arts and Culture Structures in Lebanon. The two regional organizations embark on their first collaboration to try and address some of the pressing needs facing the arts and culture sector in Lebanon, at a time when the country is in the throes of social and political upheaval due to nation-wide economic collapse that is having serious repercussions on daily life.

Given the general absence of public funding, policies, incentives, and support, the arts and culture sector has always been precarious. In fact, inventiveness and creativity have been the product of individual and small collective efforts. Today, this vibrant arts and culture scene and relative freedom of expression are at high risk of collapse, putting enormous pressure on arts and culture organizations.

The majority of arts and culture organizations survive on grants earmarked for activities. With an aggravated situation since the uprisings in October 2019, the impending collapse of the economy, and repercussions of COVD-19, they are facing multifaceted challenges that are existential and financial. Several exchanges with peer institutions highlighted the following: 1) a high risk of shutting down given their inability to survive the period of absence of public programs due to earmarked funding; 2) the hurdles to receive/access new non-restricted funds; and 3) the necessity to re-imagine their roles and reinvent their operations in a way that allows them to survive and stay relevant. In order to do so successfully and to collectively contribute to maintaining the vitality of the sector, they need a minimum of resources and time.

What is the Solidarity Fund for Arts and Culture Structures in Lebanon?

The Solidarity Fund seeks to extend a one-time un-earmarked institutional grant to affected organizations in Lebanon, and to offer the time they need to adjust to a rapidly changing environment. Envisioned to support the operations over a one-year period, and to respond to the challenges brought up during the exchanges, the grant will be tailored to the needs of individual organizations providing them with some means to:

  • Retain their core teams in a way that allows them to think and reflect together on their mandates, operations, activities, and future;
  • Keep their spaces/venues;
  • Seek consultancies (legal, artistic, technical, and the like) if needed to reimagine their models and to be inspired by other experiences;
  • Explore collaborative options with peer institutions to maximize use of space, share costs, and benefit from combined audiences and cross-discipline programming; and
  • Relocate some of their activities and create regional partnerships that allow them to continue to do their work.

This support scheme of maximum USD 80,000 per organization will benefit up to 16 active arts and culture structures based in Lebanon from diverse practices, disciplines, and missions, and with clear links to community participation programs. The profile of these structures may include - but is not limited to- those engaged in grant-making, cultural and artistic production and activities, capacity building, organizing festivals, and building knowledge and archives.

Submission Guidelines

General Guidelines
Through an open call scheme, applicants will be requested to submit a "Letter of Interest" and a set of supporting documents (detailed below) and to send them via email to the address provided below. No electronic application is required.

  • Deadline to submit the “Letter of Interest” and Supporting Documents is 15 June 2020 before midnight Beirut time.
  • The maximum grant amount that can be requested is USD 80,000. While assessing your needs, please keep in mind that the Fund aims to support as many organizations as possible.
  • Any registered or unregistered institutional or cooperative structure working in the field of culture and arts in any region of Lebanon and in any artistic or cultural field can apply to the Solidarity Fund.
  • The structure should be in operation for at least two years.
  • The "Letter of Interest" must be submitted in Arabic. An English or French version can be attached as well.
  • The Supporting Documents can be submitted in Arabic, English, or French.
  • The Letter of Interest and required Supporting Documents should be sent to the email addresses: [email protected] & [email protected]
  • The name of the applying organization should appear in the subject field of the email.

Note: Applications that do not meet the eligibility criteria will be excluded and will not be submitted to the jury.

Submission Process
Please fill out this form which includes:

  • General information about your organization
  • A set of guiding questions that you can refer to while drafting your Letter of Interest. Please consider those questions as a reference but make sure to also include further necessary information that clarifies the situation of the organization and allows the Solidarity Fund to clearly understand the status of the organization.
  • The Letter of Interest should not exceed four pages.

Supporting documents:
  • A copy of the organization’s registration (if available)
  • The current organigram of the organization: Please list all full-time and part-time employees
  • A file containing brief resumes of three active members of the organization
  • A narrative report (or equivalent) of the organization’s activities for 2018 and 2019
  • Actual budgets for 2018 and 2019 with funding sources (in US Dollars or Lebanese Lira)
  • A projected budget for 2020 with funding sources (US Dollars or Lebanese Lira)
  • List of funding sources (confirmed and anticipated) for 2021
  • Audited financial reports for 2018 and 2019 (if available)
You can download the budget template here.

The Selection Process

  • A jury of three professionals evaluates the applications and shortlists organizations. Shortlisted organizations might be called upon for an interview with the jury.
  • The selection criteria for assessing eligibility consist of the following parameters:
    - The public value, role and effectiveness of the organization in cultural life and its contribution in its artistic and cultural spheres;
    - The challenges faced by the organization and its ability to assess its needs and priorities;
    - The organization's ability to create new and adapting measures and its reflection on how to overcome challenges;
    - Internal mechanisms and practices that reflect the ability and willingness of the organization to deal with challenges;
    - The organization’s demonstrated good practices at the level of governance;
    - Provision of the minimum (or the possibility to mobilize) resources to deal with the crisis.
For your inquiries please contact the program team: [email protected] & [email protected]

The Solidarity Fund for Arts & Culture Structures in Lebanon is supported by the Drosos Foundation, Open Society Foundations, and Ford Foundation.

previous jurors

No Jurors Available

related projects