Grantee Spotlight: NY Writers Coalition

We’re less than three weeks away from the application deadline for our current cycle of Community Arts Grants, due September 20th! Follow our Grantee Spotlight series as we catch up with previous BAC grantees to learn more about the kind of work this funding can help support, and what these artists and organizations are up to now.

Lit Fest performer
Morgan Weidinger performing at NYWC’s Lit Fest in Fort Greene. Credit: Roger Nembhard

Organization: NY Writers Coalition (NYWC)

Launched in 2002, NY Writers Coalition partners with community organizations to provide free and low-cost writing workshops across New York City. Workshops are targeted to youth, seniors, women, LGBT communities, people living with disabilities, people who are incarcerated or have been incarcerated, and others from traditionally silenced groups in order to encourage writing as a means of empowerment and social change. 

How have you grown since your first BAC grant? In what ways is NYWC a different organization now?

We received our first BAC grant in 2005. Since then, we have grown from a mostly volunteer, grassroots organization into one of the largest community-based creative writing programs in the world.

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BAC Grants: What’s new for 2016

We just released the guidelines, applications and info session dates for BAC’s 2016 Community Arts Grants!

If you need to familiarize yourself with our programs, check out my posts about BAC Grants Basics and Getting an early start on your proposal.

This post will highlight some of the additions & improvements we’ve made for 2016. Hope to see you at an info session!

Narrowed request range from $1-5,000 to $2-5,000
Applicants can now ask for funding in the range of $2-5,000.  This is in response to the amount of each individual grant we’re traditionally able to award vs. the amount of work it takes to apply for and manage a grant. In narrowing the request amount, we will be awarding larger individual grants, hopefully reducing the amount of additional fundraising grantees have to do to complete a project, and ideally creating a larger impact. In 2015, we asked the panel to really consider these things when determining funding amounts and our average grant size went from $1,500-$1,800 to $1,800-$2,000. To progress!

Goodbye CAF, hello BAF
Community Arts Fund is now Brooklyn Arts Fund. It may seem semantic, but it’s really an effort to further clarify each program’s funding goals – the next phase in some of the work we started last year. The program funded by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs aims to cultivate Brooklyn’s artists, arts organizations, and audiences through its support of high-quality arts projects in all disciplines, genres and styles: Brooklyn art for Brooklyn audiences. Brooklyn Brooklyn Brooklyn!

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Friends with Money: Julia Steele Allen

Image provided by the artist.

Image provided by the artist.

Name: Julia Steele Allen

Aka: Um…Mister? Boss-of-one?

Hometown: NYC! Born here!

Neighborhood: Currently living in Prospect Heights/ Crown Heights but soon Flatbush (again)

Favorite thing about your neighborhood:

Living close to Prospect Park! But…moving from here again soon. Love living in Brooklyn, but housing uncertainty is the new normal and it’s rough.

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Resources for Artists: Affordable Housing

It is the inescapable reality of Brooklyn life that the cost of living here is on a steep incline, with no signs of slowing down any time soon.

dont like it

Supernatural’s Dean and Castiel discuss gentrification-related displacement and rent increases.

The median household income for Kings County is $46,085 with 62.4% of the population over the age of 16 actively participating in the labor force. The average rent in Brooklyn increased to $2,714.14, up 0.48% from $2,711.22 in March 2015. Over the past 12 months, Brooklyn rents are up 2.26%, from $2,663.93 in April 2014.

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Friends with Money: Stacy Kovacs/BatalaNYC

Artistic Director Stacy Kovacs. Image provided by artist.

Artistic Director Stacy Kovacs. Image provided by artist.

Name: Stacy Kovacs/BatalaNYC

Aka: Artistic Director

Hometown: Buffalo, NY

Neighborhood: Sunset Park, Brooklyn

Favorite thing about your neighborhood:

I love the diverse neighborhoods in Brooklyn.

What did you get funded for?

The Carnival Project, Year 2. The Celebration Continues!
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Announcing Destination Brooklyn 2015!

DBklyn logoBrooklyn Arts Council is proud to announce that our youngest grant program, Destination Brooklyn, will be returning for a second year!

Destination Brooklyn supports the marketing efforts of Brooklyn-based 501c3 organizations whose primary mission is to provide arts and cultural activities open to the general public. Awards of $1,500 will be granted for the creation, production and distribution of print promotional materials that represent the awardee organization’s artistic and cultural activities with an emphasis on borough tourism.

Funding priority will be given to organizations with a demonstrated history and commitment to reaching a diverse Brooklyn audience, ability to execute the project, and projected reach of distribution plan with a focus on tourism throughout the borough.

Brooklyn-based 501c3 cultural organizations with a general operating budget of $500,000 or under are eligible to apply. Applicants must download and review all application materials from prior to beginning an application. Please note: our application process is now paperless.

Applications are due by 11:59pm on Thursday, July 16, 2015.

Funding for this program is made possible through the office of the Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and NYC & Company Foundation. Visit for complete guidelines and a downloadable PDF of application questions, for your reference.

Feel free to contact BAC Grants at or 718-625-0080 with any questions about crafting your application.