Bloomberg Philanthropies Announces $43 Million Arts Investment in 7 U.S. Cities

  • NEW YORK, New York
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  • May 10, 2018

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For Bloomberg Philanthropies' 2018 Public Art Challenge, the City of Gary, IN transformed an underutilized downtown building into a cultural hub that showcases visual and culinary arts. “ArtHouse: A Social Kitchen,” was conceived by artist Theaster Gates and the City’s Mayor.
Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced the expansion of the Arts Innovation and Management (AIM) program to seven new cities. The invitation-only program seeks to strengthen the organizational capacity and programming of more than 200 small and midsize cultural organizations within seven cities: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Denver, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. 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 AIM program is part of Michael R. Bloomberg’s American Cities Initiative, an effort to help cities across the United States generate innovation and advance public policy. AIM targets arts non-profits because of the vital role that they play in building communities, driving local economies and supporting artists. Since 2011, AIM has helped more than 500 small and midsized organizations in all creative disciplines, including theater, visual arts, music, film, literature and dance. This new round of funding increases Bloomberg Philanthropies’ support for this initiative to $108 million since 2011.

"Small and midsize arts groups help form the backbone of local communities and they often operate on tight budgets, so smart management and fundraising are critical to their success,” said Mike Bloomberg. “By helping these groups operate more effectively and efficiently, we can increase their chances of success and expand the cultural and economic benefits they generate."

Bloomberg Philanthropies first piloted the AIM program in New York City, supporting 245 grantees from 2011 through 2013. In 2015, the foundation launched a nationwide expansion of AIM to 260 small and midsize organizations in six cities: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Participating organizations reported significant improvements in board development, fundraising and overall income over the two-year program: 

  • Fundraising: 76% leveraged the grant to secure increased contributions from donors
  • Income: 64% experienced an increase in total earned income
  • Board development: 70% improved board member engagement by increasing board contributions

Bloomberg Philanthropies will develop curricula and conduct seminars for the program in partnership with leading experts, one of which is the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland led by Institute Chairman Michael M. Kaiser and Institute President Brett Egan. The comprehensive workshops will engage organizations around activities that strengthen their long-term health and goals, and will include consultations and implementation support for arts managers and their boards.

“The Arts Innovation and Management program is unique because of its focus on entire cities,” said Mr. Kaiser, Chairman of the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland. “By focusing on multiple organizations in each city rather than a single organization, this funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies helps to support the healthy creative infrastructure of cities.”

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. Grantees will be required to secure 20% in matching funds; 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. Invitation letters are being distributed to selected organizations in each city beginning today.

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


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