The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation is thrilled to announce its sixth annual round of grant awards today, providing $170,000 to support 15 projects across five categories: Artist Residency Grants, Community Partnership Grants, Project Grants, Curricular Grants, and Independent Creative Production Grants.
We are also celebrating our previously announced Student Grant Awards and First-Year Seminar Grants (awarded in collaboration with the College of Arts and Sciences) for a combined total of $265,000 in funding to 45 ambitious and creative projects across the arts and humanities this year.
The practitioners and projects supported by these grants span creative practice and include such themes and ideas as motherhood, comics, poetry, painting, Jewish queer culture, Caribbean visual arts, ecological futures, climate change, animation, music technology, experimental chamber music and film, streetlife, human rights, creative writing, and youth engagement with food culture, fashion, music, and social media.
“We are thrilled to be able to support these thoughtful and ambitious projects. They are advancing the University’s global impact and empowering the arts in service of community, social and environmental justice, and fearless creative expression.”
— John McInerney, Executive Director, The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation
The Sachs Program’s grantmaking is part of its larger efforts to support and advance the arts across the University of Pennsylvania and the diverse creative communities we serve. Individual grants range from $4,000 to $25,000.
To learn about future funding opportunities from The Sachs Program, sign up for our newsletter and receive the latest information about our grant cycle schedule with selected updates about arts happenings and news at the University of Pennsylvania and beyond.
Enjoy and be well,
Executive Coordinator of Grants and Community and Equity Strategies
2023 Grant Awards
The Sachs Program 2023 Grant Awards support 45 ambitious and creative projects in the arts and humanities at the University of Pennsylvania. A small selection of the projects supported by 2023 Grant Awards includes:
- The 2023 Palestine Writes festival will convene a host of writers, artists, publishers, booksellers, and scholars to read, present, and discuss the intersections between literature and struggle, society, politics, social and environmental justice, and ethics.
- Imani Star Development, with support from Research & Equity in Academic Community Partnerships for Health (REACH), will develop and implement an eight-week cohort of 10 youth from West Philadelphia that will come together weekly for the purpose of expressing themselves via music, dance, fashion, film, and podcasting.
- Immersive Kinematics, a research group at Penn that brings together a humanities-based synthesis of design and technology will host visionary artist and architect Vanessa Keith of Studioteka as an artist in residence; Keith’s work, influenced by Eco-, Afro-, and Indigenous Futurism, addresses climate issues through emerging technologies including Extended Reality (XR) that foster new and more equitable forms of community.
- The Trans Oral History Project – Artist Collection preserves and makes accessible the stories of trans, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming artists, musicians, performers, and other creatives based in the city of Philadelphia.
- BARTOK’S MONSTER will be a new, evening-length hybrid performance piece inspired by
Jay Kirk’s book “Avoid the Day” that features the Daedalus Quartet performing the music of Bela Bartok while physical performers and a narrator explore Bartok’s sources, history, and nightmares.
- The Penn Climate Animation and Research Studio will engage six students in research and animation, on location, in countries vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
- PRIMA (The Pedagogical Repository of Italian Media Activities) is an open education resource for all Italian teachers and students interested in learning language through Italian artistic media.
- Miriam Saperstein is developing a hybrid manuscript of poetry and visual art exploring yearning within relationships between people, ecology, and divinity, and using the manuscript in readings to engage the queer and trans Jewish community in West Philadelphia.
A complete list of the 2023 Grant Awards as well as information about past grantees and grantmaking by The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation is available in the Grants section of our website.
Additional information about The Sachs Program 2023 Grant Awards including a complete list of 2023 Grantees can also be found in the program brochure from our Grant Awards Celebration held on May 9, 2023.
Grant Awards Review Process
The decisions around what to fund each year are extremely difficult and not taken lightly. This year, 2022-2023 grant cycle applications were peer-reviewed by four committees, reflecting a range of expertise and including previous grant recipients, students, faculty, staff, alums, and community members. Decisions were informed by the Sachs Program’s mission, priorities, and current program criteria.
The Sachs Program
The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation was established by Penn Alumni Keith and Kathy Sachs in 2016 to support the arts at the University of Pennsylvania. Our vision is that the arts at Penn are valued and embraced as a creative catalyst, driving innovation, inspiration, and action. We support a creative, culturally diverse, and pluralistic Penn community and are committed to supporting individuals and groups from all races, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, religions, disabilities, and socioeconomic backgrounds.