Bank of America Charitable Foundation: Grants for Visual Arts

OVERVIEW: The Bank of America Charitable Foundation seeks to “address critical issues facing our neighborhoods and communities,” including the support of higher education institutions in communities where the bank does business. It offers institutional support for specific programs as well as general operations.

IP TAKE: Bank of America views the preparation of young people for the workforce--through training, experience, and education – as the key to raising incomes and lowering poverty rates. This funder is also a great resource for organizations beyond traditional education institutions. It offers institutional support for specific programs as well as general operations.

PROFILE: The Bank of America Charitable Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the international banking giant. The foundation seeks to improve people’s financial lives by building "pathways to economic progress.” It currently pursues this through a variety of program areas, including Supporting People with Disabilities, Service Members and Veterans, Student Leaders, Arts and Culture, Investing in Women, Small Business Support, Hunger Relief, Basic Human Services, Workforce Development and Education, and Neighborhood Preservation.

The foundation conducts visual arts grantmaking through its Workforce Development and Education program, which is committed to “connecting young adults and those that deserve second chances to the skills, resources, and experience needed to succeed through hiring and recruiting, as well as partnerships with nonprofits and local mayors.”

Bank of America’s Arts and Culture funding also supports “more than 2,000 visual and performing arts organizations worldwide that provide inspirational and educational sustenance, anchor communities, create jobs, complement school curricula, and generate substantial revenue for local businesses.” Past grantees include Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University, and the University Art Museum at Tokyo University of the Arts.

Most visual arts grants range from $10,000 to $30,000, though some have ranged upwards of $2.5 million. To be eligible for funding, grantseekers must be based in and serve communities in one of Bank of America’s target areas. Second, funds for scholarship support are distributed through the educational institutions themselves, not awarded directly to individuals. Lastly, future requests for proposals may not reflect the areas listed above, so review the site for the most current funding priorities and eligibility criteria.

Please note that this organization is a separate entity from the Bank of America Client Foundation, which largely focuses on supporting organizations in the Sarasota, Florida, area (though, like the BFCA, education is a part of its giving portfolio).


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