The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation has announced a $15 million commitment in support of efforts to address poverty and disinvestment in Atlanta's Westside neighborhoods.
The foundation's pledge to the Westside Neighborhood Prosperity Fund will support projects that accelerate quality-of-life improvements benefiting children and families; improve residents' health, education, and welfare; address equity, social justice, and issues of cultural and historic preservation; and attract new investment to the community. The foundation established the fund in 2013 with a $15 million commitment to invest in the Westside neighborhoods (English Avenue, Vine City, and Castleberry Hill) adjacent to the stadium of the Atlanta Falcons, which Blank owns. To date, $12 million of the initial commitment has been disbursed.
The City of Atlanta also has committed $15 million to the Bellwood Quarry Park, $1 million to move Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre to the Westside, and $1 million to WestsideWorks, a long-term neighborhood program focused on creating employment opportunities and job training.
"Real, impactful change is happening in Atlanta's historic Westside communities because of the passion and trust expressed by residents, the belief in inclusive transformation from corporate partners and the city of Atlanta, and the dedication by Westside-based nonprofits to serve those facing some of the toughest of circumstances," said Arthur Blank, a Giving Pledge signatory. "We know there is more to be done, and our family foundation is unreservedly committed to the people and place of Atlanta's historic Westside."