NEW YORK – During its February Board meeting, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) approved 95 new grants totaling over $80 million. As announced previously, SNF paused the submission of new grant requests at the end of 2018 to reevaluate its grant review processes. During this time, however, the Foundation has continued to review pre-pause grant applications, approving this new slate of grants. The grants reflect the Foundation’s commitment to supporting organizations engaged in a wide range of vital activities worldwide that aim to address some of society’s most pressing issues with sustainable and impactful solutions.
SNF has been supporting stellar independent and ethical journalistic practices through collaborations with a wide range of partners, including the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa. New grants in this area deepen existing partnerships and launch new ones:
- The incubator for Media Education and Development (iMEdD), Athens, Greece – Established in 2018 with the exclusive support of SNF, iMEdD aims to respond to a worldwide crisis in journalism by promoting transparency, independence, and excellence in the field, and by fostering new ideas and initiatives. Its Ideas Zone brings together journalism students, as well as young and established professionals to exchange ideas and learn from experts and best practices, while its incubator offers the expertise, strategic guidance, resources, and networking opportunities to bring innovative new projects to life.
- Chatham House (The Royal Institute of International Affairs), London, United Kingdom – For nearly a century, Chatham House has served as a reliable source of rigorous and insightful analysis, helping to illuminate the complex developments that shape our world. SNF has had a long partnership with Chatham House, including, among other projects, the establishment of the SNF Floor at Chatham House, adding a new simulation center and media studio. The latest landmark SNF grant to Chatham House builds on previous support by creating the forthcoming SNF Wing and a new ideas and innovation lab that will provide Chatham House with the essential tools required for expanding and upgrading its digital research and analysis.
- The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Washington, D.C., USA – One of the world’s most respected think tanks, CSIS has been a Washington institution for over half a century. Collaboration between CSIS and SNF goes back to 1998. The new grant will extend and expand the CSIS Journalism Bootcamp (formerly the CSIS Practicum in Modern Journalism), which brings together emerging journalists from the U.S., Greece, and other countries for an intensive week of seminars and workshops, and culminates in the production of a long-form report on a current issue that includes video, audio, and graphic components. A critical component of the Bootcamp is CSIS’s Dracopoulos iDeas Lab, which works with CSIS policy experts on employing digital tools and finding innovative ideas to communicate their research.
- Athens Photo World, Athens, Greece – Pulitzer Prize-winning Greek photojournalist Yannis Behrakis did not just capture incredible stories from our world; he lived them. Before his passing in March 2019, Behrakis and the SNF were involved in the development of a new event that will focus on photojournalism excellence. Athens Photo World will bring together more than 100 photographers, highlighting the role photojournalists play in helping us envision our world and perceive events in real time as history unfolds, as well as providing professional opportunities to emerging photographers through scholarships. By supporting Athens Photo World SNF honors and helps carry on, at the same time, the rich professional and personal legacy of Yannis Behrakis into the future.
Fostering civil discourse and civic engagement has increasingly become an important focus area for SNF as extreme polarization threatens to tear civil society apart. Following a landmark grant to Johns Hopkins University for the creation of the SNF Agora Institute in 2017, SNF is continuing to support organizations building bridges across social divides:
- University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA – How do we foster informed, engaged, and effective citizens and civic leaders? The University of Pennsylvania aims to help address this question by establishing the five-year pilot SNF Paideia Program. The University will use the classical Greek concept of Paideia—holistic education—to provide students with the essential civic and ethical skills required to address today’s challenges. Paideia aims to engage a significant proportion of Penn’s undergraduate students, through existing and new academic courses across Penn’s 12 schools, and to offer students practical experiences in civic engagement through public events open to the greater community. Paideia will serve as the hub connecting a network of institutes, centers, programs, and student groups at Penn and beyond. Drawing on all these elements will be a structured co-curricular program for a select group of student leaders, the Paideia Fellows.
- Theater of War Productions, New York City, USA – When traditional discourse falls short for difficult, controversial, or taboo subjects, how do communities address them? Theater of War Productions provides one original approach, using classical texts to engage communities in discussion of pressing contemporary issues from elderly care, to the refugee crisis, to mental health, to racial injustice. Building on longstanding and extensive support, the SNF is fully supporting a collaboration between Theater of War Productions and Brooklyn Public Library that will engage a broad diversity of New Yorkers with a free ten-week run of Antigone in Ferguson,a work created in the wake of Michael Brown’s death in 2014.
- The Shed, New York City, USA – The Shed is New York City’s newest major cultural institution. The structure that houses it, which features a movable outer shell, is an apt metaphor for the dynamic mission of the institution. The Shed aims to alter the city’s cultural landscape by commissioning exclusively original works that subvert disciplinary boundaries, from dance, to sculpture, to painting, to music. The Shed’s vision is to be diverse, inclusive, and democratic, by being truly open to all and engaging audiences in the creative process. SNF’s grant will support community commissions and artist- and student-led civic programs, all free to the public.
Whether in the arts, healthcare, or sports, increasing inclusion and access to resources and opportunities is a cornerstone of SNF’s grant making:
- Regeneration & Progress, across Greece – Regeneration & Progress’s Mobile Medical Units (MMUs) provide expansive free medical services to people living in Greece’s remote islands, helping to address one of the country’s most pressing health care issues. SNF’s new grant allows the MMUs to continue their vital services to remote islands, but also supports the broad expansion of the initiative to remote areas in the mainland. In addition to the MMUs, the organization holds regular sports activities at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens, and in remote areas through the Sports Paths program. Furthermore, the Sports Excellence program provides personalized metrics and input on healthful training to young athletes, including those preparing to compete in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
In addition to support for prospective Olympic athletes through Sports Excellence, SNF is providing direct and exclusive support for athletes on Greece’s sailing and rowing teams as they prepare for the 2020 Games. A significant SNF grant to the Hellenic Olympic Committee will assist in the training of the entire rowing team, men and women, as well as two sailors, as they seek to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
- Special Olympics Hellas, across Greece – SNF fully supports the simple yet powerful idea at the heart of Special Olympics: namely that an inclusive world is a better world for everyone. A recent grant from SNF supports Special Olympics International’s efforts to promote unified play and learning through inclusive sport and education around the world. SNF has also provided repeated support for Special Olympics Hellas. New funding will help expand programming to reach 750 young athletes with special needs in 21 cities around Greece, offering them year-round training in 12 different Olympic Sports.
- New York–Presbyterian Hospital, New York City, USA – New York-Presbyterian (NYP) is creating a paradigm shift in the provision of good, prompt healthcare. The NYP telehealth platform allows patients to see physicians and specialists quickly, and is on track to serve more than half a million patients by year’s end. This SNF grant will offer access to quality telehealth technology to underserved patients in the Washington Heights and Inwood area of New York City. The new services will reduce wait times and will provide consistent follow-up on chronic conditions.
- Mount Sinai Hospital, Queens, New York City, USA – Stroke is a significant—and growing—pubic health issue. This April, New York City put in place new guidelines for the care of stroke patients, including sending certain major stroke victims directly to hospitals capable of performing thrombectomy procedures. Recognizing that such critical services are not available to patients at many of the city’s hospitals, SNF’s grant to Mount Sinai Queens supports a thrombectomy-capable stroke center. This grant builds on past support to Mount Sinai, and results will serve as a global model for training and research in advanced stroke care.
- The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York City, USA – At a time when MoMA is undertaking a major physical expansion, it is also looking to give more visitors than ever access to its collections and art-related programs. SNF’s major new gift comes at an inflection point in the museum’s history and supports MoMA’s push to increase accessibility and expand its critical community programs by 70%. The effort includes programs such as Art inSight (for blind or partially sighted individuals), Interpreting MoMA (for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing), Create Ability (for individuals who have learning disabilities), and Meet Me at MoMA (for individuals with dementia and their caregivers), among others.
Providing vulnerable populations, especially children, with care and prospects for a brighter future is a particular focus of SNF’s support for projects aiming to increase accessibility:
SOS Children’s Villages Greece, across Greece – De-institutionalizing the care of vulnerable children is recognized globally as the path to improving care. This grant to SOS Children’s Villages Greece supports the launch of the pilot phase of a new nationwide initiative supporting de-institutionalization. At the same time, the grant also supports the continuation of a program that provides short-term housing and care for infants from public maternity hospitals by placing them with foster families, with a long-term view to adoption.
The Edmílson Foundation, across Brazil – Retired soccer player José Edmílson Gomes de Moraes epitomizes what it means to be a true champion in using his success to give back. With support from SNF, the Edmílson Foundation will provide safe and dignified playing environments for underserved girls and boys 6-18 in many local communities. Edmílson spent part of his career playing with FC Barcelona. This effort to make positive change through soccer parallels the Barça Foundation’s innovative FutbolNet program, supported by SNF, which uses soccer and other sport activities to give young people a chance to exercise agency, take responsibility, include others, and collectively reflect on all of it. Edmílson took part in an SNF DIALOGUES discussion last summer entitled “Football Will Save the World.”
- New York Community Trust, New York City, USA – New York Community Trust’s Foster Care Excellence Fund (FCEF), allows funders to come together to effect system-wide change in New York City’s foster care system. Through the comprehensive care model developed by FCEF, foster youth will have access to more extensive individualized support resources.
- Samu Social Sénégal, Dakar, Senegal – In French, the official language of Senegal, SAMU is an acronym meaning “ambulance.” As the name “Samu Social Sénégal” indicates, the organization’s scope goes beyond medical care, but the sense of urgency implied applies to the full breadth of its work. Homeless children in Senegal’s capital of Dakar experience violence, harsh living conditions, and uncertainty. Through a grant to Samu Social Sénégal, SNF aims to contribute to improving the provision of health care and social services for these children.
In order to complete the thorough reevaluation of our grant review process, while continuing to implement ongoing grants, SNF will maintain the pause in new grant application submissions until at least September 30, 2019.
SNF Ongoing Initiatives and Events
At the beginning of 2017, SNF announced the planning and implementation of a multifaceted landmark Health Initiative of approximately $339 million, aiming to enhance and improve public healthcare services throughout the country.
The Foundation is also in the early stages of exploring possibilities for a new initiative that would aim to revitalize the Greek region of Laconia through targeted interventions in the areas of education, health, and culture (in conversation with Sparta General Hospital, the Archaeological Museum of Sparta, and the Sparta Mosaics Museum). The initiative includes the revitalization of the village of Vamvakou, the ancestral home of our late founder, Stavros Niarchos.
In addition to its grant making activity, SNF continues to engage the public through its monthly DIALOGUES series, as well as its annual Summer Nostos Festival—June 23-30 at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) in Athens—which includes the 2019 SNF Conference “[Untitled]” (June 24-25) and the Second SNF Agora Institute Workshop, held in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University (June 26).