Twenty arts organizations from across the country, including at least four Asian American organizations, will receive grants as one of America’s Cultural Treasures, Playbill reports.
“The new program from The Ford Foundation and five additional philanthropic donors will provide $156 million in funding, with grants ranging from $1 million to $6 million.”
America’s Cultural Treasures is defined by Ford Foundation as an “initiative to acknowledge and honor the diversity of artistic expression and excellence in America”. It hopes to achieve this initiative by “[providing] critical funding to organizations that have made a significant impact on America’s cultural landscape, despite historically limited resources.”
Included in these organizations are the East West Players, Japanese American National Museum, Museum of Chinese in the Americas, and Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience. Playbill also reports that “a series of regional grants of up to $100,000 each will go to various local programs in early 2021.”
In addition to the grant funds, Ford Foundation notes that “each grantee will receive up to $100,000 for organizational capacity building — particularly in key areas including digital strategies and other needs.” Each of these organizations were selected based on meeting one more multiple criteria. Some of these include a nationally or internationally-recognized legacy for creating and sustaining quality artistic or traditional/cultural production, significant impact, and indispensable leadership for larger networks.
Further noting COVID-19’s threat to the existence of nonprofit organizations and arts institutions, Ford Foundation reports that the 20 largest mainstream organizations have a median budget of $61 million; the 20 largest organizations of color have a median budget size of $3.8 million. A difference of 16 times in median budget size is a glaring illustration of disparity.”
With a dedication to social justice and racial equity, the funders hope to address these present inequalities. The recipients of local programs are set to be announced by early 2021. Additionally, more cities, regions, and organizations will be added in the future as more funders join this effort.
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