Detroit arts organizations get funding for training

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

More than two dozen Detroit-based nonprofit arts organizations were selected Tuesday by New York-based Bloomberg Philanthropies to partake in the foundation’s $30 million Arts Innovation and Management program.

The two-year initiative will provide the organizations with training to strengthen their long-term health and contribute to the economic, cultural and social development of Detroit, Bloomberg officials said in the announcement.

“Local arts groups are economic and cultural engines that contribute to communities in ways that few other industries can,” said founder 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.”

The invitation-only program is for smaller nonprofit cultural institutions in six U.S. cities, including Detroit. It supports local cultural centers as well as performing, literary and visual art organizations that present music, film, dance, poetry and other art forms.

The list of grantees in Detroit:

Allied Media Projects; Arab American National Museum; Arts & Scraps; Carr Center; Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History; Creative Many; CultureSource; Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings; Detroit Children’s Choir; Detroit Historical Society; Detroit Repertory Theatre; Grosse Pointe Theatre Inc.; Heidelberg Project; Heritage Works; InsideOut Literary Arts Project; Living Arts; Matrix Theatre Company; Michigan Science Center; Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit; Motown Historical Museum Inc.; Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit; Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts; Pewabic Society Inc.; PonyRide; PuppetART Detroit Puppet Theater; Scarab Club; Signal-Return Inc.; Sphinx Organization.

The program offers arts management training in fund-raising, audience development and board member engagement, Bloomberg officials said.

Angela Hart, warehouse and products manager with Arts & Scraps, said the nonprofit, which uses recycled materials to teach children and adults about science, technology, engineering and math, has been working hard for three years to increase its marketing. The company has 15 employees and a $320,000 annual budget.

“We have been a word-of-mouth agency for 20 years. We joined the program in the marketing capacity to grow,” she said.

As part of the AIM award, all grantees are required to secure matching funds, ensure 100 percent board participation in fundraising and participate in a management training programs. They are also required to maintain up-to-date information in the Cultural Data Project, an online financial and data collection platform that assists arts organizations across the country to collect, learn from, and use data effectively.

The grants are unrestricted so recipients can use them to address their greatest operational and management needs. Bloomberg Philanthropies is partnering with the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland to provide arts management training for each grantee.

“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.