Carol Varney, the managing director of development for the Bay Area Video Coalition, a nonprofit media arts organization in its 35th year, talks about the award it received from the MacArthur Foundation for Creative and Effective Institutions. Winning provided the coalition with a $1 million grant.
What does the BAVC do? We help to inspire social change by teaching people to use social media to tell their story. We do this through things such as audio and video production. We are also known for working with documentary filmmakers to help complete their work.
What will you do with the grant? Half of the money will go toward an endowment fund for the organization, something we have never had before. Another part of it will be used toward staffing changes and the possibility of a location change. Some more will go toward an innovation fund that will fund projects internally and externally with focuses on new media.
How important are these types of awards for nonprofits? We’re extremely lucky, as they’re incredibly important. The MacArthur Foundation awards helps raise the profile of organizations with an operating budget of under $5 million. It’s usually hard to get public notice, so our work has been recognized and it helps us feel like we’re moving in the right direction.