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Bloomberg Philanthropies Names More Than 50 Cultural Organizations in Austin and New Orleans to Participate in $43 Million Arts Innovation and Management Training Program

Investment will contribute to the strength and vibrancy of each city’s cultural sector

Program is part of Mike Bloomberg’s American Cities Initiative

Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced that 26 cultural organizations in Austin and 27 organizations in New Orleans have been selected to participate in the Arts Innovation and Management (AIM) program. The invitation-only program seeks to strengthen the organizational capacity and programming of small and midsize cultural organizations within seven U.S. cities: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Denver, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.  More than 200 cultural organizations have been selected to participate and are being announced on a rolling basis throughout the summer and early fall.

Through the $43 million multi-year initiative, Bloomberg Philanthropies will provide unrestricted general operating support as well as arts management training in areas that include fundraising, strategic planning, marketing and board development.

“The arts inspire people, provide jobs, and strengthen communities,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies. “This program is aimed at helping some of the country’s most exciting cultural organizations reach new audiences and expand their impact.” The AIM program is part of Mike Bloomberg’s American Cities Initiative, an effort to help cities across the United States generate innovation.

Both Austin and New Orleans ranked in the top 20 among cities identified as top arts-vibrant large communities in the 2018 Arts Vibrancy Index, published annually by the National Center for Arts Research.

“In Austin, we aim to ensure that our arts community is as healthy and vibrant as ever because its core to the identity of our city,” said Steve Adler, Mayor of Austin. “This investment from Bloomberg Philanthropies will create the capacity for our emerging arts organizations to realize their potential and be better equipped to grow into mature organizations that will serve our community long into the future.”

“In New Orleans, art and culture are central to our identity – specifically, the work of our smaller, ground-level cultural organizations helps to define the creative fabric of our city and serves as a major part of the cultural influence of New Orleans,” said New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell.  “On behalf of the people of the City of New Orleans, I am grateful for the investment of Bloomberg Philanthropies into our creative and cultural organizations. The Arts Innovation and Management (AIM) program will undoubtedly inspire, develop and strengthen many cultural organizations across New Orleans – large and small, established and emerging – and give them the tools to reach new levels of success.”

The unique program focuses on multiple organizations in each urban area to encourage and support the healthy creative infrastructure of cities. AIM targets arts non-profits because of the vital role that they play in building communities, driving local economies and supporting artists. Since 2011, the AIM program has helped more than 500 small and midsized organizations in all creative disciplines, including theater, visual arts, music, film, literature and dance. Participating organizations reported significant improvements in board development, fundraising and overall income over the two-year program. This new round of funding increases Bloomberg Philanthropies’ support for this initiative to $108 million since 2011.

“Austin and New Orleans are dynamic hubs of cultural activity,” said Kate D. Levin of Bloomberg Philanthropies Arts Program. “Both cities benefit from the creative identity generated with the efforts of small and midsize organizations, and we are excited to see what we can do to enhance their excellence.”

Bloomberg Philanthropies will develop curricula and conduct seminars for the program in partnership with leading experts, including the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland, led by Institute Chairman Michael M. Kaiser and President Brett Egan. AIM organizations will engage in activities that strengthen their long-term health and goals and will receive one-on-one consultations and implementation support for organization leaders and their boards.

All organizations invited to participate in the 2018 expansion of the AIM program are nonprofits that have been in existence for at least two years. Organizations will be required to secure 20% of their AIM grant in matching dollars; reach 100% board participation in fundraising; and maintain up-to-date information in DataArts, an online management tool that assists arts organizations across the country in collecting, learning from, and using data effectively. The grants will be unrestricted to allow recipients to utilize the funds to address their greatest needs.

Previous AIM cities have included Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.

Watch this video for an overview of the Arts Innovation and Management program:

About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies works in over 480 cities in more than 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation, and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2017, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $702 million. For more information, please visit or follow us on FacebookInstagramSnapchat, and Twitter.

Media Contact
Bloomberg Philanthropies, Rebecca Carriero + 1 -212-205-0182 or