New York City’s SITI COMPANY Selected to Participate in Bold New Initiative to Address Arts Sector Challenges

For more information, please contact: Roberta Pereira, Associate Producer
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Theater Company to pilot Nonprofit Finance Fund’s Leading for the Future Program, funded by Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

New York City, NY — October 17, 2008 — SITI Company has been selected to take part in Leading for the Future: Innovative Support for Artistic Excellence, a groundbreaking new arts initiative created by Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) and funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. As part of the pilot program, SITI Company and nine other performing arts organizations across the country will receive grants to fund innovative projects that address sector-wide challenges such as shifting audiences, decreased funding sources, and new technologies.

Funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Leading for the Future is a 5-year, $15.125 million dollar initiative. The program will provide SITI Company with significant funding, along with technical assistance from Nonprofit Finance Fund. The goal of this national initiative is to enable a group of artistically outstanding organizations to strengthen their business in a changing environment, while providing instructive examples and models for other arts organizations to learn from and possibly replicate.

“The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Nonprofit Finance Fund challenged SITI to dream positively, innovatively and articulately about our future,” said Anne Bogart, Artistic Director of SITI Company. “To that end, we aim to establish a regular New York season, and an ongoing program that creates new educational opportunities in partnership with Columbia University School of the Arts.”

The Leading for the Future initiative will help usher in a period of major institutional and artistic development for SITI Company. SITI will continue to teach and tour around the country and internationally. The Company will not scale back any programs, but rather seek a way to structure its activities to allow for sustainable growth in all areas. “In the next five years, we will responsibly and bravely ramp up activities and infrastructure and make a significant leap towards a truly exciting future,” said Bogart, who also heads the Graduate Directing concentration at Columbia University School of the Arts. “This initiative allows us the opportunity to take the necessary risks to develop a new model from which others can learn and benefit. The Leading for the Future Program will serve as a catalyst and inspiration for our company and board to ‘wright’ the narrative of our future.”

Leading for the Future will help trailblazing arts organizations continue to thrive in a society that is changing at lightning speed,” said Ben Cameron, director for the arts for the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. “Together with Nonprofit Finance Fund, we hope to learn valuable lessons about how arts organizations can innovate, even when faced with the challenges of a slumping economy, shifting generational interests, and emerging technologies.”

Other Leading for the Future grant recipients include: Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, Center Theatre Group, Cunningham Dance Foundation, Jacob’s Pillow Dance, Misnomer Dance Theater, National Black Arts Festival, Ping Chong & Company, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and The Wooster Group.

“Leading for the Future participants have already proven themselves adept at artistic innovation; now, they will lead the way for arts organizations to reinvent their business platforms so the artistic side will be reliably supported,” said Clara Miller, president and CEO of NFF. “At a time when restricted gifts and carefully predicted outcomes are the status quo, this program offers these organizations the latitude and support that is required for true experimentation and change.”

SITI Company is an ensemble-based theater company led by Anne Bogart. Its mission is to create bold new productions; to perform and tour these productions nationally and internationally; to train together consistently; to train theater professionals and students in an approach to acting and collaboration that forges unique and highly disciplined artists for the theater; and to create opportunities for artistic dialogue and cultural exchange. Founded in 1992 by Anne Bogart and Tadashi Suzuki, SITI Company began as an endeavor to redefine and revitalize contemporary theater in the United States through an emphasis on international cultural exchange and collaboration. Originally envisioned as a summer institute in Saratoga Springs, New York, SITI grew into a permanent company based in New York City with a summer season in Saratoga. The company is recognized internationally as one of theater’s most important artistic collectives, creating groundbreaking work while training artists from around the world.

Nonprofit Finance Fund is a national leader in nonprofit, philanthropic and social enterprise finance. Founded in 1980, NFF provides loan financing, access to capital and direct advisory services that build the capacity and the financial health of nonprofits. A leading community development financial institution with over $80 million in assets, NFF has provided over $175 million in loans and access to additional financing via grants, tax credits and capital in support of over $1 billion in projects for thousands of nonprofit clients nationwide. NFF has a staff of more than 75 serving nonprofits nationally from offices in Philadelphia, New York City, Newark, New Jersey, Boston, Detroit, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco.

The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and the prevention of child maltreatment, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties.