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


NEW ORLEANS — 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. A list of the organizations can be found here. 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 will be 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.

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 percent of their AIM grant in matching dollars; reach 100 percent 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:  

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