Building on ongoing efforts to advance equity in its grantmaking, the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation in Denver has announced the launch of three anti-racism grant programs.
Backed by commitments totaling $455,000 over three years, the new programs are designed to address specific issues aligned with the foundation's focus on arts and culture and nonprofit leadership in the metro Denver area. The Investing in Our BIPOC Fellows Organizations program will provide general operating support grants of $10,000 annually to organizations led by Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) participants in the foundation's Livingston Fellowship Program. The five recipients of the inaugural grants awarded through the program are Yoal Ghebremeskel (Street Fraternity), Hassan Latif (Second Chance Center), Deidre Johnson (Center for African American Health), Malik Robinson (Cleo Parker Robinson Dance), and Barclay Jones (Chinook Fund).
The second program, Creative Investment in the BIPOC Community, will commit a total of $180,000 over three years in support of arts and culture preservation efforts in neighborhoods with a deep BIPOC history, many of which have been threatened with gentrification and/or have received little investment over the years. Through a competitive process, two such neighborhoods, at least one of them historically Black, will receive $30,000 annually for three years to integrate the arts into community development efforts. And the third program, Imagining a Just Denver, a $125,000 pilot, will award five artists $25,000 each to create a work of public art that imagines what a "Just Denver" would look like.
The foundation recently issued an RFP for a comprehensive assessment of its priorities and practices through a DEI and anti-racism lens.
"This is a time to re-examine practices, to take bold action to reassess our priorities and practices, to look at what more we could be doing," said the foundation's president and CEO, Gary Steuer. "We have already developed an immediate response to the COVID-19 crisis affecting the arts, first with some immediate emergency grants in March, and then with a lead $1 million gift to create the COVID-19 Arts & Culture Relief Fund, which has seen over $600,000 in additional gifts. In April, we also made an array of equity-based changes in our grantmaking, including a new program that funded for the first time nineteen small organizations that are led by and serving BIPOC people or other historically marginalized communities."
(Photo credit: Hans-Peter Gauster via Unsplash)