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ArtsStrengthening Local Arts OrganizationsArts Innovation and Management

Arts Innovation and Management

Small and mid-sized cultural institutions are critical for the arts to thrive. These organizations engage residents, strengthen neighborhoods, promote social cohesion, and contribute to a city’s economy and identity. To date, the Arts Innovation and Management (AIM) program has provided $119 million to build the capacity of these essential institutions by providing funding for operations as well as management training to enhance their strategic planning, board development, fund-raising, and marketing strategies.

Piloted in New York City in 2011, this invitation-only grant program provides support to theater, visual arts, music, film, literature, dance, and other cultural organizations. From 2015 to 2017, the program supported 260 diverse small and mid-sized cultural institutions from all artistic disciplines in six U.S. cities – Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. In 2018, Bloomberg Philanthropies expanded the program to work with 229 organizations in seven cities – Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Denver, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C.

In October 2020, the initiative expanded to Puerto Rico in partnership with the Flamboyan Arts Fund. Building on the Flamboyan Arts Fund’s investment of $15 million, AIM Puerto Rico pairs national arts experts with local leaders to provide 10 organizations with arts management training and tailored consulting services in areas that include fundraising, strategic planning, and digital marketing. The bilingual program in Puerto Rico also provides specialized training in resilience to help organizations better respond to natural disasters.

One of the most important things I learned from the AIM program was this five-year programmatic planning process. We know what we’re doing through 2023, and it allows us the time to raise the money that we need to get to the programs that we’re doing.

Miguel A. Rodríquez, Executive Director of Boston Baroque

AIM grantees participate in a management training program, developed primarily by the DeVos Institute of Arts Management, to improve fund-raising, increase audiences, engage board members, and develop strategic plans. Grantees are also required to secure matching funds, achieve complete board participation in fund-raising efforts, and maintain up-to-date information using the online management tool DataArts.

Top photo: A backstage workshop hosted by Colorado Opera, a Bloomberg Philanthropies Arts Innovation and Management grantee.