Six Points Jewish Arts Fellowship Closes With No Renewal of Federation Grant

Innovative New York Program Dies as Funding Dries Up

Avant Garde: Innovative arts programs like Ofri Cnaani’s Sota Project were made possible by the 6 Points Fellowship.
ofri cnaani
Avant Garde: Innovative arts programs like Ofri Cnaani’s Sota Project were made possible by the 6 Points Fellowship.

By Ezra Glinter

Published May 24, 2013, issue of June 07, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

Life in the arts is never easy, especially in a bad economy. For some Jewish artists, it’s about to get a lot harder.

The Six Points Fellowship, a program of the Foundation for Jewish Culture that has given away some $1.26 million to artists over seven years, is shutting down its flagship New York fellowship program after the local Jewish federation decided not to offer it a new grant.

The program’s director, Rebecca Guber, will be leaving her position at the end of May and will be replaced in an interim capacity by Josh Feldman, its Los Angeles-based associate director.

“Six Points was revolutionary to be giving experimental, emerging artists really significant grants. It was the first time in the history of the Jewish community it had ever been done,” Guber said. “Without Six Points in New York and potentially in other places, it could be a huge loss for artists.”

Since 2006 Six Points has supported 30 artists in three “cohorts,” two in New York and one in Los Angeles. Each fellow received at least $40,000 over two years, split between a living stipend and a project grant.

The smaller Los Angeles branch, which has an independent funding stream, will keep running until the end of 2013. Its future after that is uncertain, although leaders hope it can continue indefinitely.

Ariella Goldfein, a UJA-Federation official, said it never planned to fund Six Points forever. The group is considering moving resources to support programs involved in Israel education and Jewish engagement, she said.

“There’s been a complete proliferation of new startup organizations, and it became very clear to us that very few of them are going anywhere near Israel,” Goldfein said. “That seemed to us like a very solid gap in the field, and so we’re picking that up and looking at that more closely.”

Besides providing financial help, Six Points in New York helped fellows with marketing, budgeting and other business skills. It also helped build a community of artists who were committed to exploring Jewish themes. The most recent New York program was a 65-person artist retreat called “Asylum,” which took place in March.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • Move over Dr. Ruth — there’s a (not-so) new sassy Jewish sex-therapist in town. Her name is Shirley Zussman — and just turned 100 years old.
  • From kosher wine to Ecstasy, presenting some of our best bootlegs:
  • Sara Kramer is not the first New Yorker to feel the alluring pull of the West Coast — but she might be the first heading there with Turkish Urfa pepper and za’atar in her suitcase.
  • About 1 in 40 American Jews will get pancreatic cancer (Ruth Bader Ginsberg is one of the few survivors).
  • At which grade level should classroom discussions include topics like the death of civilians kidnapping of young Israelis and sirens warning of incoming rockets?
  • Wanted: Met Council CEO.
  • “Look, on the one hand, I understand him,” says Rivka Ben-Pazi, a niece of Elchanan Hameiri, the boy that Henk Zanoli saved. “He had a family tragedy.” But on the other hand, she said, “I think he was wrong.” What do you think?
  • How about a side of Hitler with your spaghetti?
  • Why "Be fruitful and multiply" isn't as simple as it seems:
  • William Schabas may be the least of Israel's problems.
  • You've heard of the #IceBucketChallenge, but Forward publisher Sam Norich has something better: a #SoupBucketChallenge (complete with matzo balls!) Jon Stewart, Sarah Silverman & David Remnick, you have 24 hours!
  • Did Hamas just take credit for kidnapping the three Israeli teens?
  • "We know what it means to be in the headlines. We know what it feels like when the world sits idly by and watches the news from the luxury of their living room couches. We know the pain of silence. We know the agony of inaction."
  • When YA romance becomes "Hasidsploitation":
  • "I am wrapping up the summer with a beach vacation with my non-Jewish in-laws. They’re good people and real leftists who try to live the values they preach. This was a quality I admired, until the latest war in Gaza. Now they are adamant that American Jews need to take more responsibility for the deaths in Gaza. They are educated people who understand the political complexity, but I don’t think they get the emotional complexity of being an American Jew who is capable of criticizing Israel but still feels a deep connection to it. How can I get this across to them?"
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.