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Bloomberg Philanthropies Announces Grantees of $30 Million Arts Innovation and Management Program

Investment contributes to the vitality of cities by helping art organizations strengthen organizational capacity operations through unrestricted grants and management training

Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced the grantees selected to participate in the foundation’s $30 million Arts Innovation and Management (AIM) program for small and midsize nonprofit cultural institutions in six U.S. cities, including Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. The invitation-only program, announced in April 2015, supports a diverse set of institutions including local cultural centers and performing, literary and visual art organizations that present music, film, dance, poetry and other art forms.  (Click here for a full list of the 262 grantees.)

Through this two-year initiative, Bloomberg Philanthropies provides unrestricted grants to 262 organizations around the country to help strengthen their operational and programming efforts and offers arts management training in fundraising, audience development and board member engagement. All selected nonprofit cultural organizations are locally or internationally recognized groups that have been in existence for at least two years.

Bloomberg Philanthropies worked with local funders in each city to identify the grantee cohort of small and midsized arts organizations.  In addition to strong programmatic activities, selected grantees exhibited a potential for growth in their organization’s management capacity.  Together, the grantees comprise a thriving and robust arts community in each city, provide a total of over 1,700 jobs and collectively serve more than 10 million residents.

“Local arts groups are economic and cultural engines that contribute to communities in ways that few other industries can,” said Michael R. Bloomberg. “By supporting smaller organizations that don’t typically have endowments and providing them with management training, we are working to help them have an even greater positive impact on an even broader audience.”

This initiative builds on Bloomberg Philanthropies’ work to support arts and cultural organizations that contribute to local economy, identity, and quality of life.  As critical economic and civic assets, arts organizations provide jobs, stimulate local economies, and promote social cohesion.  According to a report released by the National Endowment for the Arts, creative industries contribute $698 billion to the nation’s economy, representing more than 4 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).  This contribution represents a larger share of our national economy than the transportation and agriculture sectors.  A report released by the University of Pennsylvania revealed that cities with a high concentration of arts and culture exhibit higher civic engagement, more social unity, and lower crime and poverty rates.

Bloomberg Philanthropies is partnering with the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland to develop curricula and conduct trainings for the AIM program in each city. The comprehensive workshops engage organizations around activities that strengthen their long-term health. They also include consultations and implementation support for arts managers, their boards and outside experts such as VaynerMedia to develop important social media practices.

As part of the AIM award, all grantees are required to secure matching funds; ensure 100 percent board participation in fundraising; participate in a management training programs and maintain up-to-date information in the Cultural Data Project, an online financial & data collection platform that assists arts organizations across the country to collect, learn from, and use data effectively. The grants are unrestricted so that recipients can use them to address their greatest operational and management needs.

“AIM is well-positioned to make a significant, lasting impact on American arts organizations,” said Michael M. Kaiser, Chairman of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management. “In addition to its remarkable breadth, this program is unique in that it provides participants with general-operating support and management training. This unique approach empowers participants to navigate the rapid changes in technology, demographics, and the economy that continue to affect arts organizations across the country. We are honored to partner with Bloomberg Philanthropies in this endeavor, and we look forward to working with AIM participants to foster a sustainable cultural sector in each of these six cities.”

First piloted in New York City, Bloomberg Philanthropies supported 245 grantees through AIM from 2011-2013. Participating organizations reported improvements in audience development, board engagement and fundraising over the two-year program.

The New York pilot grantees made significant gains as a result of the program including:

  • $42 million net increase in contributed income
  • $26.5 million in earned income (ticket, sales, courses, space rental, concessions)
  • 95% reported increasing board engagement by expanding membership or increasing board giving
  • 82% entered into partnerships that offset $8.3M in costs
  • 79% reached new audiences


About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies’ mission is to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Public Health, Environment, Education, Government Innovation and the Arts. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2014, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $462 million. For more information, please visit or follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.

About the DeVos Institute of Arts Management
The DeVos Institute has served more than 1,000 organizations from over 80 countries since Michael M. Kaiser founded it during his tenure as President of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The Institute has designed its services to assist a wide range of institutions, from traditional performing and presenting organizations, museums and galleries, arts schools and libraries, to botanical gardens, glass-making studios, public art trusts, and non-profit cinemas, to name a few. The DeVos Institute transferred its activities and offices from the Kennedy Center to the University of Maryland in September 2014. The move enables the Institute to expand its global training and consulting programs, enhance its fellowships for North American and international arts managers within the context of a major educational institution, and create a Master’s program that leverages both University and Institute resources. More information:

Media Contact: Bloomberg Philanthropies, Rebecca Carriero, (212) 205-0182,