I’m writing to bring your attention to a recent change in the language of the MAP Fund goals. While the goals themselves have not changed, our perspective on them has shifted and the edits reflect that shift. The revision is part of MAP’s ongoing learning and discussion around issues of inclusion and diversity — key elements of the program’s mission from the beginning.
Specifically, we have removed the phrase “the other,” which had been used to refer to non-dominant cultures or communities (see below for full context). As a recent panelist pointed out, no community — dominant or not — conceives of itself as “other” from inside their own experience. We came to see that our use of the phrase implies a worldview that’s inconsistent with our mission, and we feel our edits reflect the program’s objectives more accurately. Our hope is that the current language invites multiple perspectives and cultural critiques without externally applying any particular lens.
In addition, we took the opportunity to be explicit about the diversity within MAP’s pool of readers, evaluators and panelists, which we take to be every bit as central to our mission as the diversity within our grantee roster.
I think one of MAP’s strengths and the reason, in part, for its longevity has to do with its intention to be responsive to the field, and to the moment in which it is operating, as opposed to prescriptive. Our determination is to continue to be so, to continue to listen and learn, and to find ways to reflect that learning in our work.
As ever, it’s a privilege to be a part of this field. We welcome your thoughts on this language revision or any other matter this sparks for you.
The MAP Fund is founded on the principle that experimentation drives human progress, no less in art than in science or medicine. MAP supports artists, ensembles, producers and presenters whose work in the disciplines of contemporary performance embodies this spirit of exploration and deep inquiry. MAP is particularly interested in supporting work that examines notions of cultural difference or “the other,” be that in class, gender, generation, race, religion, sexual orientation or other aspects of diversity.
The MAP Fund is founded on the principle that exploration drives human progress, no less in art than in science or medicine. MAP supports live performance projects that embody a spirit of deep inquiry.
MAP is particularly interested in supporting artists that question, disrupt, complicate, and challenge inherited notions of social and cultural hierarchies across the current American landscape.
The program pursues its mission by welcoming the widest range of artistic points of view to apply and employing a comparably wide range of evaluators and panelists in the grant selection process.