Some of the nation’s most prominent philanthropists and foundations announced plans on Thursday to donate more than $156 million to help arts organizations run by people of color recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
The initiative, called America’s Cultural Treasures, includes national and regional components and was conceived by Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, and those who work for the foundation’s Creativity and Free Expression program.
It is meant to bring greater resources and recognition to what the foundation described as “Black, Latinx, Asian and Indigenous” organizations representing the heritage of people who “have been historically marginalized, underfunded and underrepresented in the narrative of American culture.”
News of the initiative was first reported by The Washington Post.
The national component includes $50 million from the Ford Foundation and additional money from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Abrams Foundation, the Alice L. Walton Foundation, Barbara and Amos Hostetter, and Tom and Lisa Blumenthal. It will provide $81 million in operational and general support funds to 20 organizations that are “significant national anchors for artistic and cultural diversity in America,” the Ford Foundation said.
National grants will range from $1 million to $6 million each. Recipients include the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage; the Apollo Theater in New York City; the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Mich.; the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles; and the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago.