In 2012, through the generosity of a bequest from Katharine Scherman Rosin the Foundation established a new giving program, The Katharine S. and Axel G. Rosin Fund (Rosin Fund), which provides support for a limited number of innovative, short-term and high-impact projects that address critical issues in the Arts, the Environment and Strengthening New York Communities.
Katharine S. Rosin was born in New York City, the daughter of Bernadine and Harry Scherman, founder of the Foundation. A gifted author of ten non-fiction books, her interests ranged from ornithology and mountain climbing, to classical music and European history. Her broad knowledge and experience, and clear sense of right and wrong, illuminated the deliberations of the Foundation’s board for almost 50 years. Her generous bequest has allowed the Foundation to substantially increase its giving with the Rosin Fund, jointly named for her husband of 62 years, Axel G. Rosin. Born in Germany, Axel immigrated to the United States in 1934 under the looming threat of Nazism. He went on to become the president of the Book-of-the-Month Club, founded by his father-in-law Harry Scherman, and the chairman and guiding spirit of the Scherman Foundation. From the time of his retirement from the Club he committed full-time to the work of the Foundation. His humanity, vision, and belief in the effectiveness of non-profit leaders and organizations in building a more just world guided the Foundation for more than twenty years.
Previous Rosin Fund Grants:
The Scherman Foundation inaugurated its first round of Katharine S. and Axel G. Rosin Fund grants in 2013, totaling $4,226,029 over three years, to eight innovative and high-impact projects in the areas of Arts, Environment, and Strengthening New York Communities.
In 2014, the foundation announced a second round of Rosin Fund grants, totaling $3,200,000 over three years, to eight more innovative and high-impact projects in the areas of Arts, Environment, and Strengthening New York Communities.
In 2015, the foundation announced a third round of Rosin Fund grants, totaling $2,230,000 over three years, to five innovative and high-impact projects in the areas of Arts and Strengthening New York Communities.
In 2016, the foundation announced a fourth round of Rosin Fund grants, totaling $1,040,000 over three years, to three innovative and high-impact projects in the Environment area. The Foundation also made an additional $100,000 matching grant to a current Rosin-funded project.
2017 Rosin Fund Grants:
The Scherman Foundation is pleased to support its fifth round of Katharine S. and Axel G. Rosin Fund grants, totaling $2,121,000 over three years, to six innovative and high-impact projects in the Arts and Strengthening New York Communities areas. Grants were made to the following projects:
A.R.T./New York, $394,000 over three years
The Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (ART/NY) is well known to the Scherman Foundation as the primary art service organization for the nonprofit theaters of New York, with over 300 organizational members, including all of the Foundation’s theater grantees.
The Rosin Fund grant supports its Diversifying Our Boards Program, which seeks to increase the overall diversity and inclusiveness of small and medium-sized Off Broadway theaters by focusing on their board membership.
Playwrights Horizons, $395,000 over three years
Playwrights Horizons (PH) is among the leading producers of new work from established and emerging American playwrights, annually presenting eight new plays and musicals—most world premieres—while providing a supportive home for playwrights, composers, and lyricists to develop challenging and innovative work.
The Rosin Fund grant supports the Digital Audience Engagement Project, which will deepen and democratize digital access to its current activities and engage leading playwrights and directors to create original work for the digital realm.
Queens Council on the Arts, $300,000 over three years
Founded in 1966, the Queens Council on the Arts’ (QCA) mission is to foster and develop the arts in Queens by supporting arts organizations and individual artists. Because of its location in the most ethnically diverse county in America and perhaps the world—with over 157 languages spoken daily and half the 2.3 million residents being foreign-born—it is not surprising that QCA embraces and champions cultural diversity while creating new understandings of artistic excellence.
The Rosin Fund grant supports the Artist Commissioning Program, an innovative, community-based producing mechanism, growing in part out of QCA’s frustration with the failure of current producing mechanisms to adequately support diverse artists and art forms.
STRENGTHENING NEW YORK COMMUNITIES
Make the Road New York, $300,000 over three years
With four offices and over 20,000 members from across New York City, Make the Road New York builds the power of Latino and working-class communities to achieve dignity and justice through a combination of policy research, public education, legal advocacy, organizing, leadership development, provision of services, and coalition building.
The Rosin Fund grant supports its Sanctuary NYC Campaign, which is focused on actualizing the most expanded vision of what a Sanctuary City could be with progressive policies that are firmly enshrined in city government and flexible, community-based networks that are capable of responding rapidly to changing conditions. Over the next three years, Sanctuary NYC will build networks—both internal networks consisting of its own members and staff and external networks of churches and other allies—to protect New Yorkers from both ramped-up federal immigration enforcement and hate violence.
New York Renews Campaign, $300,000 over three years
In partnership with the Public Policy and Education Fund.
New York Renews (NY Renews), formally launched in December 2015, is an unprecedented multi-sector coalition of more than 100 organizations representing every region of the state from Buffalo to Long Island advocating for a “just transition” to the country’s first fossil fuel-free economy.
Right to Counsel Coalition, $432,000 over three years
In partnership with the Fund for the City of New York.
In New York City, close to 30,000 households are evicted by City Marshals each year, and an unquantified number (estimated to be much larger) give up their homes under the threat of eviction. When low-income people are forced out of their homes, they almost universally end up in homeless shelters or in housing that is more expensive. Since the Right to Counsel Coalition (RTCC) formed in 2014, the city has made significant strides in expanding services to keep people in their homes. RTCC played a key role in raising the urgency of the issue and advocating for the city to increase funding for civil legal services.