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Performing Arts

Shaw Festival. Photo: Cosmo Condina Photography.

Performing Arts Internships

Staging Change

Overview +

Launching in 2018, this third iteration of the Foundation’s multi-year strategic investment program in the performing arts will build on earlier successes and introduce new approaches to the Foundation’s longstanding goal of supporting and building a thriving, healthy and resilient performing arts environment.

Staging Change is delivered by Metcalf with Richard Evans and EmcArts, an arts-focused non-profit service provider based in North Carolina.

Staging Change will support innovative solutions to challenges and opportunities organizations face in rapidly changing environments. The program is designed to welcome organizations over four stages depending on their interest and suitability to the approach designed and delivered by EmcArts and Metcalf. Funding will also be staged, beginning with small participation grants ($3,000) and, if an organization is successful through all four stages, culminating in substantial scaling grants of up to $75,000 a year for two years. The pre-determined focus issue that was an integral part of CrSI will no longer apply.

Metcalf and EmcArts held an information session about the program on April 23, 2018. The first two hours was devoted to the granting program and the remainder to the Associate Facilitator Initiative. A copy of the presentation slides can be found here

Eligibility +

Applicants to Staging Change must:

  • be professional theatre, dance, music, or opera organizations (including companies, festivals, professional training institutions and service organizations);
  • maintain a professional staff (organizations of all sizes are encouraged to apply; the minimum required staff capacity is 1 FTE);
  • be based in the City of Toronto (organizations who are located in the GTA may be considered if they have a signifcant presence in the City of Toronto);
  • have a minimum of three years’ of organizational/production history;
  • have a current, valid charitable registration from the Canada Revenue Agency; and
  • not be current grantees in CrSI 2015, 2016, or 2017.

We encourage equity-seeking organizations to consider this opportunity.

Deadlines +

June 11, 2018, 2pm               application deadline (Stage 1 only)
June 27, 2018                          notification of participation

The Foundation is unable to consider late or incomplete applications for funding. Electronic copies must be received at the Foundation by the time and date listed above.

Applications for Stages 2, 3, and 4 will be announced at a later date but are limited to Stage 1 participants only.

Please note that, at this time, the Foundation plans to offer Staging Change every two years: a second cohort of Staging Change will begin in 2020, with no intake in 2019.

Guidelines & Other Resources +

Click here to view the full application guidelines.

A Word version of the Application Form can be found here.

A copy of the information session presentation slides can be found here

On Adaptive Change in the Arts
An article by Richard Evans, published on the Grantmakers in the Arts website.

EmcArts Case Studies from Past Program Participants
Case Studies from The Denver Centre Theatre Company,  Northern Alberta International Children’s Festival, The Music Center (Los Angeles), Cleveland Public Theatre, and The Wooster Group (New York).

Staging Change Associate Facilitator Training Initiative +

In addition to launching Staging Change, we are also introducing the Staging Change Associate Facilitator Training Initiative. Led by Metcalf and EmcArts, this train-the-trainer program will develop the capacity of local consultants through the practice of adaptive change.

Consultants who have a practice based in the performing arts will be well-suited to this work, especially those with experience in facilitating organizational change. We also believe that non-arts consultants from other sectors – the health and social spheres, for example – may also be good candidates. Finally, we invite organizational leaders from all arts disciplines – Executive Directors, Managing Directors, department heads in education or community engagement, for example – to consider this unique opportunity to broaden their skill sets.

Associate Facilitators will be compensated for their participation in all stages of the program. A Staging Change Associate Facilitator Training Initiative outline including program goals, curriculum, time commitment, and compensation, is available here.

The Staging Change Associate Facilitator Training Initiative application can be found here.  A Word version of the Application Form can be found hereA copy of the information session presentation slides can be found here

Important Dates and Deadlines

May 28, 2018                    Associate Facilitator application deadline
June 27, 2018                    notification of participation

Creative Strategies Incubator

Overview +

The Creative Strategies Incubator (CrSI) is the second iteration of the Foundation’s multi-year strategic investment in the performing arts. As with its predecessor program, Strategic Initiatives, which ran from 2001 until 2012, CrSI is designed to help companies explore new strategies for addressing longstanding sectoral issues in meaningful new ways, and nurture the organizational change that comes from developing and implementing innovation. Where it differs from its predecessor is in the introduction of pre-determined focus issues and the creation of a Learning Network to foster a culture of shared wisdom.

Each year, organizations apply to the program in response to the focus issue through the lens of their own imagination and ambition. These focus issues are:

  1. New approaches to, or alternative sources of, revenue (2013 and 2015 cohorts)
  2. Engaging audiences and/or building communities around your work (2014 and 2017 cohorts)
  3. Providing opportunities for artistic work to reach its potential (2016 cohort)

The Learning Network is designed to strengthen the work of the individual organizations through mutual support and technical assistance, and to oversee the translation of the work into a contribution to broader policy or sectoral issues.

The first two cohorts have now completed their three-year initiatives. Their outcomes, as well as the continued progress of the three remaining cohorts, are found in the Stories from the Inc. section of the website and contain text, video and images related to their work and its impact. The most recent and final CrSI cohort from 2017 will wrap up their work in 2020.

Beginning in 2018, the Foundation will launch Staging Change, the third iteration of this flagship program. Please see elsewhere on this page for program details including guidelines, application deadlines and eligibility requirements.

Deadlines +

The Foundation is no longer accepting applications for CrSI. Please see Staging Change for details on our 2018 multi-year strategic investment program.

Performing Arts Internships

Overview +

The people in performing arts organizations, whether onstage or off, are its most crucial resource. They are creative, committed individuals striving to create and to produce in a complex, challenging environment.

The Foundation wants to strengthen the performing arts by supporting training and professional development for artists, administrators, and production staff. Our internship program helps organizations create productive entry points into the sector, realize opportunities to foster leadership, and respond to skill shortages in critical areas. It provides individuals with more knowledge, better skills, broader work experience, and useful contacts – all of which will help them make a stronger professional contribution to the performing arts. Internship grants will be made for the intern’s complete salary and statutory benefits to a maximum of $32,000 for a full-time, year-long internship.

Eligibility +

Applicants to this program must:

  • identify the prospective intern in the application;
  • be professional theatre, dance, music, or opera companies;
  • be based in and active within Ontario;
  • have a minimum of three years’ of organizational history; and
  • be registered as a charity with the Canada Revenue Agency.

Deadlines +

For 2019 awards, applications to the Performing Arts Internship program will be accepted on or before:

2:00pm, April 10, 2019
2:00pm, October 9, 2019

Guidelines & Other Resources +

Click here to view the full application guidelines.

Click here for pointers on creating the video portion of your application.

FAQs +

  • Does Metcalf make grants in other arts disciplines, like visual or media arts, writing, or museums?

    No. Metcalf’s arts programs are limited to organizations in the live performing arts, defined as theatre, dance, music, and opera companies. The Foundation will also consider requests from arts service organizations serving the live performing arts, but, except in rare circumstances, it will not consider cross-disciplinary service organizations that serve a variety of art forms including the performing arts.

  • My organization is not a registered charity, but we are incorporated as a not-for-profit. Can we still make an application to Metcalf?

    No. Under the Performing Arts Program, the Foundation supports only organizations that have a valid charitable registration number from the Canada Revenue Agency.

  • Will the Foundation make Performing Arts Internships grants to organizations outside of Ontario?

    No. Applicants to the Performing Arts Internships program must be based in the Ontario, and the proposed internship activity must take place in Ontario.

  • Does the proposed intern need to be based in Ontario? Based in Canada?

    The proposed intern must be legally able to work in Canada.

    Beyond that criterion, Metcalf is hoping to use the Performing Arts Internships program to strengthen the arts sector in the geographic area where we work. While there is no absolute criterion that the intern must be committed to a career in Ontario, it could be a consideration when assessing internship applications from a highly competitive pool of applicants.

  • I have just completed my post-secondary training in the arts. Can I make an individual application to become an intern?

    Metcalf only provides grants to organizations with a current charitable registration number from the Canada Revenue Agency. For that reason, applications must be submitted by the company where the internship will be undertaken.

    The needs of the intern, however, are an important criterion for assessing applications. For that reason, the strongest submissions have often been initiated by the prospective intern, who seeks out the most appropriate mentoring organization, works with that company to develop strong training and work plans that correspond to their own learning goals, and participates in the submission of the application.

  • How can I find a mentor and/or hosting organization who could apply for an internship for me?

    The Foundation does not arrange mentorships for interns. Often, interns seek these relationships from organizations or mentors with whom they already have some connection through volunteer work, co-op work placements, or performance experience. In the absence of any relationship of this type, prospective interns have sought out individuals and companies whose work they find inspiring and investigated that company’s willingness to apply for funding for an internship position.

  • Can an organization apply for grants from both Staging Change and Performing Arts Internships programs at the same time?

    Yes. These applications would be treated separately, and each would be assessed on its individual merits. The Foundation would need to consider, however, the applicant’s capacity to undertake all of the proposed activities.

  • Can an organization request more than one internship in any round of applications?

    The Foundation does not limit the number of internships for which an organization can apply in a given round; each application is assessed on its individual merits. When applications are being assessed, however, the Foundation does consider an organization’s capacity to provide strong mentorships. While a larger organization might have the capacity to provide a number of strong internships simultaneously in different departments, smaller companies might have less ability to do so. For this reason, the submission of multiple proposals could weaken all of the applications.

  • How often can an organization apply for internship funding?

    There is no limit to the number of times an organization can apply for internship funding. Applicants should remain conscious, however, that this program was created to fund learning opportunities for interns and not to create positions at organizations. Repeated applications to fund an internship that appears to be an ongoing position, therefore, are less likely to be successful; the emphasis of the application needs to remain on the specific professional development goals of each individual intern.

  • Why does the Foundation recommend that we talk to program staff in advance of making an application?

    All of the Foundation’s funding programs are highly competitive, and we receive many more applications than we are able to fund. Foundation staff can advise applicants about the program priorities, and can help applicants shape the most compelling cases for funding. While it is recommended, however, that prospective applicants speak with staff prior to making a submission to the Foundation, it is not a prerequisite for applying.

  • Would Foundation staff be willing to review my proposal in advance of the deadline?

    Foundation staff is happy to discuss potential applications and to help organizations craft a more focused argument for funding, but they do not read drafts of applications prior to their submission.

The George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation
38 Madison Avenue, Toronto, ON  M5R 2S1