In 1991, Art Matters was involved in the conceptualization of the Arts Forward Fund and subsequently provided programmatic administrative support for it. Thirty-six New York City funders cooperated in this effort to bolster self-sufficiency among struggling arts organizations, many of them focusing on new art and facing the decline of government assistance. A strong assumption behind the Fund was that old fundraising and administrative structures no longer worked well enough and that fresh thinking was needed if organizations were to thrive (or in some cases, even survive) in the new climate. Financial administration was provided by the New York Community Trust, though the pooled resources that represented the Fund were controlled collectively by all thirty-six participants. The program was open to any arts group in the five boroughs of New York City. The Fund intended to send a positive and encouraging message to the arts community in New York City in a time of financial crisis, to change the nature of the dialogue between grant-makers and arts organizations, and to foster innovative collaborations. During the course of the Fund, thirty-six planning grants totaling $681,500 and seventeen implementation grants totaling $1,026,425 were awarded.