Jessie Streich-Kest Memorial Grant

The Jessie Streich-Kest Memorial Grant will provide one artist or a collaboration with funds of $1000 to reimburse expenses used in the completion of a community-based art project.




Through this RFP, the Artist Volunteer Center will support an artist’s project that is dedicated to advancing themes of social justice, equity, and/or education.

The Artist Volunteer Center is founded on the belief that when artists lend their time as volunteers, not only are they provided with opportunities to improve their lives and the lives of others, they are also given new inspirations for art making. This grant is intended to aid the selected artist/collaboration in the completion of a long-term volunteer project, which will culminate in an artwork or series of works inspired by the artist’s volunteer experience.

The Artist Volunteer Center is now accepting proposals in all artistic disciplines, including cross-disciplinary work. The project must be completed in New York City in 2016, and is open to individual artists and collectives/collaborations. This grant prioritizes the needs of underserved artists, particularly emerging artists, artists of color, queer artists, and immigrant artists. Projects will be selected for their artistic merit and their social impact.

In order to be eligible, proposed projects must demonstrate long-term volunteerism in communities. This is defined as a prolonged investment of time and energy in the people and organizational partners where the artist is volunteering. We want to see you develop relationships and spend time with people, a particular population, and/or a cause. However, not every aspect of the project needs to involve community, and final products can range in form. Studio artists, performance artists, musicians, and writers, just to name a few, are encouraged to apply as well as those whose practice is community based. There must a public component as part of the work which might include, but is not limited to, an exhibition, panel discussion, workshop, or screening. In addition to the $1,000 to reimburse costs associated with the project, the Artist Volunteer Center will assist the artist in securing partnerships, and offer the use of its network in realizing the project. 



Submission process:

*Projects that do not follow submission guidelines will not be reviewed*

Deadline: Friday February 19th, at 11:59pm.

Submit all elements of the application listed below IN A SINGLE PDF, formatted as follows:

> Save PDF as JSK16[last name].pdf

> Send PDF to with the subject "JSK Grant Submission"


Application Criteria and format:


Address, Phone number, Email

Artist Website

Project Title

Synopsis: Briefly summarize the project, its goals, and concept. (100 words)

Project Description: Provide a more detailed description of the project. In addition to elaborating on your concept and goals, tell us why your suggested volunteer project is important to you. Explain when and where the project would ideally take place, and how you will produce it. Why is the grant necessary to complete this project? Identify potential partners, where and how you will participate in volunteerism and/or direct action in communities, and what kind of follow up, if any, there will be on the impact of the project. (500 words)

Budget: Create and include a detailed budget of your project.

Bio: Provide a narrative bio about yourself/your collaboration, including your personal history of engaging with social justice issues through your art, and brief descriptions of your past work. (250 words)

Portfolio: Provide up to five works or links to video along with your proposal. Only two minutes of video will be watched per work in first rounds, so please note what the start time is if it is not 0:00.

CV and / or resume: If the project involves a collaboration, submit bio, CV and/or resume for each participant.

About Jessie Streich-Kest:

Jessie Streich-Kest was a kind, optimistic, determined, and hard-working young teacher who lost her life in a tragic accident during Superstorm Sandy.

 A graduate of Edward R. Murrow High School, her teachers there inspired her to pursue a career in education and to become a tireless advocate for her students at Bushwick School for Social Justice. She worked long hours to ensure that their academic and emotional needs were met. 

Jessie's work at Bushwick School for Social Justice was only a small part of the impact she had on the world. A fierce warrior for fairness, equality, and positive change, she touched many lives with her advocacy for animal rights and social justice. Her short time at Bushwick School for Social Justice demonstrated to everyone around her just how much of an impact one person can make.

This Grant is made possible by the Jessie Streich-Kest Memorial Fund, an advised fund of the Brooklyn Community Foundation, and administered by Brooklyn Arts Council in collaboration with the Artist Volunteer Center.