Arts Partnership Launched for Diverse New York City Communities

The North Carolina-based William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University have announced a $6 million initiative to explore how arts organizations can better serve diverse communities in New York City.

Under the initiative, the Met and NYU will work with nineteen other arts and cultural institutions in the city to build on existing relationships within local communities, create new connections, and act as instruments of positive change. The two organizations will also document their practices and discussions as part of an effort to more broadly share lessons, outcomes, and tools with the field.

Organizations participating in the initiative include Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Brooklyn Museum, Harlem School of the Arts, Lincoln Center Education, the Sadie Nash Leadership Project, and the New York Public Library Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

"Philanthropic efforts in the arts must make a fundamental shift from charitable gifts that exclude to justice-oriented giving that creates equitable access for all," said Dorian Burton, assistant executive director of the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust. "We believe the arts are core to giving creative voice to individuals to combat broken systems while building bridges across lines of difference. These twenty-one organizations range in size, scope, and history but were all selected for funding because they have the ability, leadership, and platforms to build networks that ensure the arts are not just an add-on or an optional budget line item waiting to be cut. The arts have long been a vehicle for social change and are the heartbeat of the American consciousness."

For a complete list of participating organizations, see the Met website.