Jerusalem Culture Unlimited
Area of Work: Arts
Grant Purpose: General Support
Jerusalem Culture Unlimited (JCU) provides capacity building and professional development through knowledge sharing, tools and skills to Jerusalem based early career artist initiatives and mid-sized artist-led organizations from all social sectors and across all artistic genres represented in the city. Annually JCU delivers hundreds of hours of strategic management training through group sessions and individual mentoring with its team of professionals who have experience and passion working with artists. The goal is to ensure that the work of Jerusalem’s artists and arts groups is viable, visible, and sustainable. JCU envisions a healthy arts ecosystem where their creative production supports Jerusalem as a world class creative city.
Purpose: To provide operational support in order to reach a broader range of artists and to continue programs that build the capacity of next generation artists and the agency of their emerging
organizations oriented to social issues.
JCU has been assisting artists within all social sectors in Jerusalem — Jews from Misrachi and Ashkenazi backgrounds, Haredi, religious, and secular, Palestinians — and within diverse artistic genres, including theater, dance, visual arts, music and interdisciplinary work. Programs include:
- Deep-dive seminars and training on professional development topics such as governance, board development, and developing presentations to work internationally
- An Open-Door Clinic through which JCU staff provide targeted professional consultation for JCU alumni and new groups
- Organizational mentoring for artist initiatives
- Jerusalem Cultural Leadership Network for artists, directors of culture institutions, philanthropists and local stakeholders to share knowledge and learning to deliberate on how Jerusalem arts and culture will be resourced more effectively
- Partnerships to build new spaces and programming for artists and community in E. Jerusalem
- JCU Giving Circle for the Arts and Artists Relief Fund that provide micro-grants to support new independent artist initiatives or within existing organizations
Since 2012, JCU has assisted over 100 Jerusalem-based artist-led organizations across a range of disciplines and religious backgrounds. Successful JCU alumni include Hamifal, an art project that turned an abandoned 19th-century building in the heart of Jerusalem into an art and cultural center; Machol Shalem’s International Dance Week, which has become a focal point for dance presenters from abroad; Hullegeb Theater (Israeli Ethiopian social inquiry theater) and the Jerusalem International Biennale for Jewish Art, among many others. An alumni survey in 2018 found that JCU’s work was particularly valuable in convening the arts and culture community in Jerusalem and providing a crucial network for collaboration and partnership. Alumni were grateful for JCU’s impact in providing leadership development, and strategic thinking both for their organizations in particular and for the Jerusalem arts ecosystem at large.