Creative Exchange Call for Toolkits!

As the national program of Springboard for the Arts, Creative Exchange hosts free, practical toolkits created by artists and arts organizations along with our editorial work sharing the stories and impact of artists in community. Since the launch of Creative Exchange in 2014, over 6,000 toolkits have been downloaded from the site, facilitating artist-led projects, business skills development, and creative placemaking.

The goal of Creative Exchange is to spark inspiration and connection, and get people the practical resources they need to lead creative projects. To that end, we seek out projects with existing toolkits to host, and help commission and create new toolkits. What do we mean by “toolkit”? At Springboard for the Arts, we imagine a toolkit as a way to share a program or idea that has been put into action, using a specific set of tools, documents and resources that you’ve created. You’re taking what you’ve learned and developed and formatting it to share with others.

To that end, we want to help make things happen, so we’re launching the new Toolkit Toolkit – a resource for turning your project into a toolkit – and opening up a new call for toolkits. Deadline to submit your project is April 6, so submit now!

In 2015-2016 we hosted the Leading Organizations pilot, working with the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council, Macon Arts Alliance, MACLA/Moviemiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana, and Metro Arts Nashville. This call is an extension and adaptation of this work, geared toward helping create toolkits from smaller, practical projects led by individual artists and organizations.

After an open call process, the cohort of 5 selected projects will engage in a 4 month process of information gathering, writing, and toolkit creation. The group will use the Toolkit Toolkit as a basis for their work, culminating in the release of 5 new, project specific toolkits in August 2018. Authors will retain the rights to their toolkits, which will be licensed to Creative Exchange for sharing.

5 artists or groups will be selected for the open call. Any artist or arts organization is eligible to submit an idea to be developed into a toolkit, with a few key criteria:

  • The project must be led by artists, or have art and artists at the core of the work.
  • This must be a project that has been implemented already, with the practical ability to be replicated. A theoretical project, or one that can only exist under highly specific circumstances or contexts, is not eligible.
  • You must be willing to share the project. This is not to say that there is not associated consulting, materials, or resources that can be used as lines of business, but the toolkit will be free.

For the purposes of this call, preference will be given to projects or programs that are smaller in scope, or more easily recorded and replicable. Thanks to support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, preference with be given to projects based in or with connections to the communities of Akron, Charlotte, Denver, Detroit, Macon, Miami, Philadelphia, Saint Paul, and San Jose.

You offer:

  • Your expertise in your project
  • To share materials such as contract templates, planning documents and timelines that made your project possible and make it easy to replicate

You get:

  • Editing and design support to create a finished, shareable toolkit
  • A profile in Creative Exchange
  • $1,000 honorarium for project time


Creative Exchange offers:

  • Editorial and design support in creating the toolkit
  • A profile in Creative Exchange
  • Ongoing marketing and distribution of the toolkit

Creative Exchange gets:

  • License to share the toolkit as part of the toolkit offerings
  • Content to add to the special features and profiles of artists with impact

March 13, 2018 – Call opens
April 6, 2018 – Call closes
April 20, 2018 – Selections announced
April 30, 2018 – Kickoff meeting
May 2018 – Data & note gathering for first drafts, editorial interviews
June 2018 – Edits and first drafts finished, reading & feedback, editorial interviews
July 2018 – Second drafts and design work, editorial published
August 2018 – Toolkits finalized & released!
September 2018 – Feedback and evaluation