Macy's Really Likes Performing Arts Centers

Macy’s Inc. makes substantial, widespread contributions in the area of arts and culture, with theater, music, visual arts, and dance at the forefront of that giving. And when you can see all four of these artistic disciplines under the same roof, that's a roof that becomes a cultural hub for the community.

These roofs are typically called Arts Centers or Performing Arts Centers or Fine Arts Centers. No matter the name, Macy's really likes them.

During its 2013 fiscal year, Macy's gave significantly to arts centers all around the country. Here's a sample:

Macy’s Inc., which, due to corporate consolidation, includes Blooomingdales department stores, gives both through the Macy’s Foundation and through the company itself, via a program called My Macy’s District Grants.

In some ways the foundation versus corporation giving is a moot point, because both sides have the same five areas of philanthropic focus: Arts and culture, education, the environment, HIV/AIDS and “women’s issues,” which has a primary focus on women’s health and domestic violence. Of course you’re reading this in the context of your arts and culture program, but it’s always useful to keep these other giving priorities in mind; if your program, organization, or physical space intersects with additional areas of Macy’s focus, that can only add value.

The distinction between the Macy's Foundation and the corporate My Macy's District Grants is the playing field. The foundation only supports national-level programming and provides an invite-only granting process. The big, world-renowned performing arts centers listed above (such as the Kennedy Center) most likely fall under the foundation category. By contrast, the My Macy’s District Grants program is focused on giving at a local level and has an open application process. So if your performing arts center and its programming are more intimate and community-focused, there is an opportunity for you here.

Other corporate grantors speak often about their support of arts and culture in terms of audience outreach, diversity of storytelling and artists, and commitment to community; Macy’s, by contrast, doesn’t address any social contract at all, nor does it delve its aesthetic preferences in arts and culture grantees.

That said, a corporation is looking to positively impact community—that’s why it grants at a community level. So if your organization and space promote audience development and community engagement, you’re coming out ahead. It’s also safe to presume that Macy’s wants to support organizations with track records of success by the multiple possible measures of success within the arts. And it’s a requirement that your organization is a 501(c)(3) that operates in or is engaged with a community in which Macy’s and/or Bloomingdales has a presence.

Macy's and Bloomingdales department stores are more than those ubiquitous flagship stores at your mall; their presence can mean dollars for you in the arts and culture world.

Related - Macy's Inc.: Grants for Theater

Related - Macy's Inc.: Grants for Music

Related - Macy's Inc.: Grants for Dance

Related - Macy's Inc.: Grants for Visual Arts