FISCAL PARTNERSHIPS: A NEW MODEL FOR DEVELOPING A COHORT OF LATINX ARTS MANAGERS
PAMAR’s FISCAL PARTNERSHIPS PROGRAM offers mentorship, guidance, and support to Latinx artists and arts projects looking for support for their project, vision, or new arts production agency that goes beyond the typical, well-known FISCAL SPONSORSHIP model.*
The project emerges from requests for support and guidance from a Cuban film series producer, a Salvadoran photographer and artist residency founder, a Brazilian digital and new media artist, and an Argentine singer and music producer of a Jazz Legends and a tango music series. The FISCAL PARTNERSHIP model goes beyond the Fiscal Sponsorship model in that it assumes emerging Latinx arts entrepreneurs are operating at different levels and kinds of experience with their projects than are their US-born or artrepreneurs or arts managers operating on the AngloAmerican model. The Latinx arts manager and PAMAR together choose from a menu of options that ranges from a basic contractual retention of a percentage of income for administrative purposes, to the lending of PAMAR staff and consultant expertise in such areas as marketing, venue location, proofreading of publicity and grant-seeking materials, lending of PAMAR’s office space for meetings and conferences, use of PAMAR interns, setting up meetings with potential collaborators in all fields of arts production and management, and other menu items to be mutually identified.
The Program arises from a conversation requested by a Latinx arts producer’s disappointing experience with two well-known fiscal sponsorship agencies focused on the arts. They could provide little support to the specific needs of an emerging arts promoter from Latin America, where philanthropic, production, financial reporting, and other systems are different from those in the US. They could provide little support in the Spanish language. It seemed to the producer that the potential sponsor wanted to make a check mark on their list of sponsored projects, and perhaps also the “diversity-equity-inclusion” category, but without deeply caring about or understanding the uniquely Latinx nature of the project.
PAMAR, before seeking to officially establish this program, successfully “test drove” it in 2017-18 in response to requests for this help from the Cuban, Brazilian, Argentine, and Salvadoran artrepreneurs mentioned PAMAR processed individual donations from $100 to $7500, a corporate sponsorship of $10,000, and grants from $2500 (Rotary Club) to Rockefeller Brothers Fund ($120,000 over 2 years). In some cases, requests by the artrepreneurs was minimal and PAMAR provided only “fiscal sponsorship,” retaining the standard 7% for administrative overhead. In the case of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, PAMAR retained $24,000 over 2 years for “menu items” chosen mutually, which included venues identification, social media/marketing support, proofreading of grant and other materials, among other services. The contract for these services was developed by the law firm Proskauer Rose through Lawyers Alliance for New York, with input among PR, LANY, PAMAR, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Cuban artrepreneur. That contract will be used as the basis for expanding and officially launching the FISCAL PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM.
On the basis of success with this unpublicized program, PAMAR anticipates that in Year I of the official “launch” of this program – voted by the Board of Director of PAMAR December 18, 2018 and now on the agenda of LANY to develop the legal infrastructure for its development as a full-fledged program of PAMAR – will come on-line May 1, 2019. In Year I it is expected to attract a roster of 5 – 7 emerging Latinx artrepreneurs, whose incorporation into the program will follow an application process modeled after those of successful arts-focused fiscal sponsorship programs which do not focus on this ethnic/racial/linguistic population.
*The most common form of fiscal sponsors see themselves often as “incubators” for new charities, or “umbrella” organizations permitting several related projects to exist in one tax-exempt corporation. This model provides the most control over the project, and so it is the best training ground for start-up projects. The people conducting the project become employees or volunteers of the sponsor for the duration of the project. The project’s expenses are paid directly by the sponsor to the vendor or supplier. This is so even if a separate bank account is set up for the project. Projects can be, but are not always, an integral part of the sponsor’s program activities. (Adapted from a November 17, 2006 presentation by Gregory Colvin, Esq. Silk, Adler & Colvin