New Funding Offshoot Expands Grants to Southeastern Arts Groups

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Arts|New Funding Offshoot Expands Grants to Southeastern Arts Groups

In the Southern Cultural Treasures program, the Ford Foundation and an Atlanta nonprofit volition funnel assistance to that region.

An lawsuit   astatine  Black Belt Treasures Cultural Arts Center successful  Camden, Ala. The halfway  received a assistance   from South Arts, which is present  partnering with the Ford Foundation.
Credit...Black Belt Treasures Cultural Arts Center

Nov. 3, 2021, 9:30 a.m. ET

Last year, erstwhile the Ford Foundation announced an inaugural to springiness much than $100 cardinal to arts groups tally by radical of color, nary of the 20 archetypal recipients were successful the Southeast.

So Suzette Surkamer, the president and main enforcement of South Arts, a astir 50-year-old nonprofit successful Atlanta, emailed Darren Walker, the president of the Ford Foundation, offering to stock immoderate thoughts connected arts groups successful the portion that she and her colleagues were acquainted with.

Now South Arts is receiving $3 cardinal from Ford and raising an further $3 cardinal from different donors that volition beryllium distributed arsenic grants to 12 to 15 arts groups led by radical of colour successful the Southeast.

That program, called Southern Cultural Treasures, is simply a supplement to past year’s initiative, America’s Cultural Treasures, successful which Ford and different organizations and philanthropists donated $156 cardinal to bring greater resources and designation to what were described arsenic “Black, Latinx, Asian and Indigenous” groups.

“We person worked successful the South, and we cognize of the heavy request among arts organizations successful the South wherever determination are little philanthropic resources,” said Margaret Morton, manager of the creativity and escaped look squad astatine Ford.

She added that “there is an incredibly affluent culture” successful the South that draws heavy connected the past of Black Americans there.

Formed successful 1975, South Arts is 1 respective regional arts organizations that enactment arsenic partners with the National Endowment of the Arts to supply national enactment for projects that payment section communities.

Over the years South Arts assisted section performing arts groups, but aft Hurricane Katrina wrought demolition crossed the Gulf Coast successful 2005, the enactment besides developed a nationalist programme to assistance taste institutions hole for earthy disasters and different crises.

Last year, arsenic portion of America’s Cultural Treasures, grants of $1 cardinal to $6 cardinal were awarded to 20 groups that were deemed to beryllium of nationalist stature, including the Alaska Native Heritage Center, Jazz astatine Lincoln Center successful New York City and the National Museum of Mexican Art successful Chicago.

The Ford Foundation besides announced past twelvemonth that it would enactment $35 cardinal into determination grant-making initiatives that would see matching funds from spouse foundations successful cities similar Pittsburgh, Los Angeles and Houston and beryllium utilized for grants “to taste groups of colour with exceptional determination oregon section significance.”

Surkamer said that galore groups successful the southeastern country her enactment covers are “persistent and amazing,” often moving connected shoestring budgets, but having a heavy interaction connected their communities Because of that, she added, the assistance programme could marque a important quality to the recipients.

“It tin springiness them the wealth to run connected an ongoing basis,” she said, calling that “incredibly important.”

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