American Express: Grants for Theater

OVERVIEW: American Express seeks to support theaters and theater organizations across the country. However, it does give grantmaking priority to six U.S. locations.

IP TAKE: This corporate funder supports a range of theater-related activities and does not focus its funding solely on performances.

PROFILE: Global financial services company American Express conducts its philanthropic work through the American Express Corporate Social Responsibility program, which seeks to "bring to life the American Express value of good corporate citizenship by supporting communities in ways that enhance the company's reputation with employees, customers, business partners and other stakeholders."  The program awards grants in the three major program areas of Leadership, Historic Preservation, and Community Service.

While the company does not mention theaters and theater related organizations as main areas of giving focus, it is a big supporter of both. American Express awards theater-related grants through all three of the major program areas. For example, Second Stage Theatre received a grant through its Leadership focus area to support the Second Stage’s summer student leadership forum. Moreover, it also funded Ford’s Theatre Society, which received a grant out of American Express’s Historic Preservation program in support of Ford’s digital archives and exhibitions. To learn more about American Express grantees, explore its most recent grants list.

American Express grants can range anywhere from $5,000 to $1.5 million. Most grants however, typically fall in the $10,000 to $100,000 range. American Express awards grants to theater organizations both large and small. Past grantees include Crossroads Theatre Company, Second Stage Theatre, and Berkeley Reparatory Theatre.

American Express accepts unsolicited grant applications from eligible organizations on a rolling basis. While it awards grants to organizations located across the United States, it gives grantmaking priority to the following U.S. and global locations.


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