How and why was the SAHA name chosen?

SAHA was founded to increase awareness and visibility of contemporary art in Turkey, and to expand and liberate the “field” where art production takes place. We decided to focus on the independent "field" we aimed to create when choosing a name for the association. Furthermore, the absence of an obvious biased stance or verbal associations to concepts such as selecting; sorting; differentiating; directing; classifying and categorizing were part of our criteria.

Why did you need such a formation?

We believe that in order to support artistic production in a healthy manner, several different actors should be working together. We attach particular importance to creating non-selective neutral funds in addition to governmental and private sector support, often referred to as “sponsorship”. While setting up this formation, we aimed to bring together individuals and institutions who wish to support contemporary art under a collective roof that does not accentuate individual support.

How does SAHA operate?

SAHA was established as a non-profit “association”. Membership fees, donations and corporate support income constitute the annual budget of the association. This entire budget is used for supporting the arts. The association is managed by a team of professionals. Applications to SAHA are evaluated by the professional team and submitted for the approval of the Board of Directors; if and when deemed necessary, the opinion of the Advisory Board is sought.

Are there similar organizations abroad established for this purpose? Does SAHA collaborate with these institutions?

There are non-profit organizations established abroad with similar objectives. From time to time, SAHA collaborates with similar organizations on a project basis.

Does SAHA pursue any collaborative efforts with other institutions or organizations that include an art gallery or a museum within its structure?

Provided that they are suitable with SAHA’s independent stance and mission, it is possible for the association to pursue project-based collaborations with other non-profit art institutions and organizations in Turkey.

What is SAHA Studio?

SAHA Studio is a physical space in Istanbul and a residency program established in 2019 by SAHA to work one on one with visual artists and curators, and to provide them with a co-working environment designed for research, production, presentation, activity and interaction.

What are the selection criteria for SAHA Studio participants?

SAHA Studio participation is selected through nomination and invitation. The portfolios of artists, nominated by the independent initiatives and art experts SAHA collaborates with, are evaluated by a selection committee specialized in art, before they are invited as participants. 

What are the prerequisites for becoming a SAHA member?

The natural and legal person who has the capacity to act and who accepts the aims and values of the association and agrees to work in this direction, respects the association’s founding principles and meets the conditions stipulated by the legislation, has the right to become a member of the Association.

How is the SAHA membership process completed?

Membership to the SAHA Association can essentially be through the reference of another member, and the official membership application submitted by the candidate can only be accepted with the unanimous approval of the Board of Directors. Payment of the membership fee is required for the membership to become official. This provides the individual a one-year membership from the start date. According to the association's charter, a monthly fee determined at the Ordinary General Assembly held every year is obtained from all members without installments, exceptions, rewards or discounts.

Can SAHA be supported through any other means than membership?

SAHA submits offers of cash or in-kind support from individuals and organizations that are not members or supporters to the board of directors.

What is SAHA+?

SAHA+ is a membership programme to support for contemporary art, and geared towards young art enthusiasts under the age of 35. 

With this program, which aims to make SAHA's activities more visible and accessible to young art enthusiasts, SAHA+ members may attend programs organized by SAHA as an individual for one whole year while contributing to the local and the international contemporary art ecosystem. The program seeks to provide members the opportunity to learn from SAHA members based on a Mentor-Mentee relationship designed for the transfer of information and experience through meetings focusing on topics such as building an interest in art, collecting and supporting artistic practice.

Which disciplines of art does SAHA support?

SAHA supports the projects of professional artists, curators, writers and critics working and producing in the field of contemporary visual arts. Working in cooperation with institutions and organizations operating in the international arena, SAHA creates resources for contemporary art projects that address the present, interact with different cultures and are interested in posing new questions. Performing arts such as music, theater and dance are excluded from the scope of SAHA’s support.

How is the application evaluation process?

Applications submitted to the SAHA Association are reported to the Board of Directors for a majority vote following review and pre-evaluation by SAHA’s core team. During the evaluation process, information and budget regarding the institution and project proposed by the applicant are reviewed. If and when necessary the opinion of the Advisory Board is sought.

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.

Can artists, curators, writers, critics apply for their own projects?

No. Non-profit contemporary art institutions operating internationally may apply to SAHA for projects by artists, curators, writers or critics invited from Turkey. 

How do I apply?

In order to apply to SAHA for grants, the required documents listed in the Application Guide are sent to at least 6 months before the project start date. 

When will the person whose project application has been submitted be notified about the decision regarding their grant application?

After a decision is made to support a project, SAHA notifies the applying non-profit institution of this decision. It is the applying non-profit institution’s responsibility, and a prerequisite condition for the grant, to attain written approval from the artist/curator/researcher, the project of whom has been proposed in the application, with regards to SAHA’s support and its amount.

Are you signing a contract with the individuals you support? What are your expectations with respect to the support you provide?

Financial support is not given to individuals or projects, but to institutions and organizations that apply directly. For this reason, SAHA does not sign personal contracts with artists, curators or writers, and does not have any expectations in return for the support it provides. Within the framework of the agreement made with the particular institution, the SAHA logo is included as a supporter of the institution in its media channels such as its publications and websites.

Would you support an artist who will be participating in an exhibition at an art fair or gallery abroad?

According to its statute, SAHA provides support for non-commercial and non-profit arts events. It does not collaborate with commercial entities where participation fees are required and/or sales or profit are made.

Can SAHA support the same artist, curator or critic more than once?

Since SAHA provides support on a project basis by evaluating applications submitted from institutions, it can support the same artist, curator or critic for more than one project.

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.

For all your other questions about SAHA, you can reach us at info (a) e-mail address.

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