Through the initiative, two-year general operating support grants will be awarded to more than two hundred small and midsize arts and cultural organizations in Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Denver, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C. Grantees also will receive management training in areas such as fundraising, strategic planning, marketing, and board development through a curriculum developed in partnership with experts at the DeVos Institute of Arts Management at the University of Maryland and others.
First piloted in New York City from 2011 to 2013, the program was formally launched in 2015 in six cities — Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, and San Francisco — and led to the majority of participating organizations reporting increases in donor contributions (76 percent), board member contributions (70 percent), and total earned income (64 percent). Since 2011, the foundation has committed a total of $108 million to its American Cities Initiative, of which AIM is a part. AIM has supported more than five hundred arts groups in various disciplines, including theater, visual arts, music, film, literature, and dance.
"Small and midsize arts groups help form the backbone of local communities and they often operate on tight budgets, so smart management and fundraising are critical to their success," said Bloomberg Philanthropies founder and former New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. "By helping these groups operate more effectively and efficiently, we can increase their chances of success and expand the cultural and economic benefits they generate."