Meet the Charlotte-Based Winners of the THRIVE Fund's Inaugural Round of Grants

It's a good time to be a Charlotte-ite (or is it Charlotte-ian?) 

Just a few weeks after Knight's massive $16 million give to Charlotte, NC-area arts groups comes news that the THRIVE Fund, administered by Foundation for The Carolinas, will distribute more than $3.1 million in grants, some over multiple years, to eight local recipients.

If the Foundation for the Carolinas rings a bell, it's because we've profiled them quite frequently here at IP. Most notably, the foundation, with $1.4 billion assets, has led the charge to renovate the historic Carolina Theatre, which has been sitting dormant for 36 years, and transform it into what we can only call a "organizational hub" that will not only bring business to the neighborhood, but also serve as a convening space for symposia, major speakers, panel discussions, and documentary films.

As for the THRIVE Fund, it was established in 2013 under the leadership of Hugh McColl, former Bank of America chairman and CEO. Initially launched with the goal of supporting the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, the campaign broadened to include more arts and cultural groups thanks to resounding support from donors.

Among the first gifts to the campaign was $2.5 million from The Leon Levine Foundation, as well as lead corporate gifts from Bank of America and Duke Energy, each contributing $10 million to THRIVE. Other major donors include corporate and professional firms, as well as private foundations and individual philanthropists who comprise the fund’s Board of Investors.

"Our initial fundraising was so successful, we jumped at the opportunity to raise more funds, and support the Charlotte cultural sector as a whole," said McColl. 

Here are the winners:

  • Charlotte Symphony Orchestra—$2,000,000.
  • Charlotte Ballet—A three-year grant totaling $369,100.
  • The Mint Museum—$275,000 for a two-year grant that includes an award of $250,000 for the benefit of the Levine Center for the Arts.
  • Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture—$215,000 for a two-year grant.
  • Children’s Theatre of Charlotte—$200,000 for a three-year grant. 
  • Bechtler Museum of Modern Art – $53,380—$25,000 for the benefit of the Levine Center for the Arts 
  • Opera Carolina—$25,000.
  • McColl Center for Art + Innovation—$15,000.

On a related note, click here for a quick look at the Bank of America Foundation's art philanthropy.