Frequently Asked Questions

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How and why did you choose the name SAHA? 

SAHA Association was established with the aim to increase the visibility of contemporary arts in Turkey, to expand and liberate the “field” in which art production is realized. Choosing the name of the association (SAHA means “field” in Turkish), we deemed it appropriate to focus on the independent “field” which we aim to create. We wanted to select a name devoid of associations with processes such as selecting, dissociating, differentiating, guiding, classifying, categorizing or connotations of an obviously partial stance.

Why did you feel the need to develop such an initiative? 

It is our belief that a number of different actors must be involved in a healthy support system behind artistic production. Besides governmental support and support from the private sector or “sponsorship”, what we also consider important is the existence of impartial funds that don’t assume the role of selective judges. In setting up this initiative, we aimed to create a platform where individuals and organizations with a desire to support contemporary arts could come together under a collective umbrella that abstains from highlighting seperate and solitary contributions.

How does the association work?

SAHA was founded as a non-profit association. Its annual budget includes yearly membership fees, donations and sponsorship income. SAHA's entire budget is spent in line with the association's mission to support contemporary arts. The association is run by a professional team. All funding applications are evaluated by the professional team and are then put to the vote of the Board of Directors that also includes the professional team. If and when necessary, the application is referred to the Advisory Board.

Are there similar initiatives abroad, established towards the same objective? Will you be collaborating with these organizations?

There are many non-profit initiatives abroad, set up with a similar objective to ours. There are occasions where we work with these organizations on individual projects. We don’t have a long-term collaboration on our agenda at the moment.

Do you collaborate with other institutions and organizations in Turkey, that support contemporary arts and house an art gallery or a museum in their premises?

SAHA Association is an entirely independent organization and its mission was defined with a consciousness to ensure that it always remains that way. The association may however, enter project-based collaborations with non-profit arts institutions and organizations in Turkey, in line with its vision and objectives. 

What are the prerequisites for becoming a member of the association? 

Our doors are open to anyone who embrace and respect the principles and objectives of SAHA.

What are other means of support one can offer SAHA besides membership?

SAHA is also open to project-based donations, and accepts financial and spiritual support from non-member individuals and organizations. 

Does the association support all artistic disciplines? 

SAHA Association supports contemporary arts. Working collaboratively with international institutions and organizations, it supports the production of works that bear witness to the current times and events, that interact with different cultures and that are concerned with asking new questions. SAHA creates the financial resources for projects by those artists, curators and critics who have aligned themselves with this concept. 

What are the operative stages of the evaluation process for the applications?

The applications received by SAHA are first evaluated by the professional team and are then put to the vote of the Board of Directors. This stage of the evaluation focuses on the information regarding the organization, the event and the project budget submitted by the applicant. If and when necessary, the application is referred to the Advisory Board. 

Could you elaborate on the influence of the Advisory Board over the selection process? 

If the professional team needs more information regarding the submitted organization or event, then they refer to the Advisory Board. If the project application is found to be suitable for evaluation, it is presented to the Board of Directors. 

How long is the selection process for the project to be supported? 

The applications received by SAHA by mail or e-mail are responded by the team in no more than 3 weeks. However this process is not so much about “selection” as it’s about “evaluation”. The application received by SAHA is evaluated in terms of the organization’s international field of influence and its adherence to the budget criteria. The final decision is then communicated to the applicant organization.

How can one apply? 

To apply to SAHA for support, it suffices to send by mail or e-mail, detailed information about the applicant organization and the specific event put up for funding, and the project budget. You can also reach more detailed information about the application criteria for different SAHA programs here.

When is it that an artist is informed about receiving support from SAHA Association for his/her project? 

After reaching a decision to support a project, SAHA Association informs the applicant organization. The prerequisite for the support to be actualized is for the applicant organization to inform the artist –on behalf of whom they’re applying– about the contribution of the SAHA Association and the exact amount they’ll be receiving and for the artist to confirm this support. 

Do you sign a contract with the artists you support? What is your expectation in return for this support you are providing? 

The financial support is not offered to the artist or the project but directly to the institutions and organizations that invite the artist or accept the artist’s project. Therefore, SAHA never signs a personal contract with the artists and has no expectations from them in return for the support it provides. SAHA’s logo appears on the spaces allocated to the supporters in the publications, websites and etc., in line with the agreements drawn up with the institution. 

Would you support an artist who’ll be participating in an exhibition held in a gallery abroad? 

In line with its constitution, SAHA Association only supports non-profit events. Offering support to a gallery is only possible if the gallery is applying on behalf of a non-profit activity.

Is it possible for SAHA to offer support to the same artist, curator or critic twice?

As SAHA provides project-based support to applications received from organizations, it is possible for the same artist, curator or critic to receive support for multiple projects.

Is it possible to get more information on projects supported by SAHA and their budgets?

Yes. SAHA Association is subjected each year to a financial audit carried out by an independent organization. These audit reports are published on SAHA’s website.