Greater New Haven Arts Stabilization Project
On April 24, 2001, the Greater New Haven Arts Stabilization Project (GNHASP) launched a seven-year grant making and technical assistance program that supported eight of the region’s important cultural institutions: Creative Arts Workshop, Guilford Handcraft Center, the International Festival of Arts and Ideas, Long Wharf Theatre, Neighborhood Music School, New Haven Museum, New Haven Symphony Orchestra and the CAPA Shubert Theater. The GNHASP committee was comprised of community leaders who funded the project and worked diligently for three years with the Arts Council of Greater New Haven to administer the project.
GNHASP provided technical assistance, working capital grants, and matching funds to eliminate working capital deficiencies. Budgetary stabilization strengthened organizations by helping them to develop sound management and financial practices to the ultimate benefit of their creative and artistic product. The Project emphasized business disciplines: balance sheet management, strategic planning, full board participation and increased community engagement.
The goal of all technical assistance was to improve the financial capacity of the organization, foster critical self-awareness and the ability to do multi-year planning and projections, and to strengthen governance structures. Finally, and as part of the strategy to strengthen working capital position and prevent cash-flow crises, all eight organizations worked towards receiving a grant for working capital reserves and, in some cases, to establish positive liquidity. Organizations received grant funds in four equal payments, which were contingent upon meeting annual financial and management benchmarks that are specific to each organization.
Funders of the project included the State of Connecticut, the City of New Haven, the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, Yale University, the Carolyn Foundation, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Fleet (now Bank of America), New Haven Savings Bank (now First Niagara), SNET-SBC (now AT&T), United Illuminating, Webster Bank, along with nine individuals and families.