Boeing Touches Down in Support of Local Community Arts

Boeing is the second-largest aerospace and defense contractor in the world, and it gives grants with a scope and breadth that is commensurate with that. Primary areas of focus are education, workforce development, the environment, financial stability, and health—but there are more opportunities as well, including in the world of arts and culture.

A lot of Boeing's arts and culture focus is education-oriented, but not all of it. In the most general terms, Boeing states that it supports “organizations that are leaders in what they do, demonstrate innovation, and align and collaborate with others to achieve workable solutions to community issues.” This statement also serves as a good guidepost for Boeing’s arts and culture throughline.

That said, Boeing’s areas of focus vary by state across the 20 states where it provides grants (plus Washington, D.C.). Boeing provides a user-friendly drop down to select your state and see more details about its giving, deadlines, and contacts. Not every state grants in the arts and culture realm, but some do.

Each region has different shadings of emphasis. Illinois, for instance, seeks to "increase access to and participation in the arts in every community," as well as arts organizational capacity building specific to Chicago. Florida focuses on "performances and exhibits which challenge and broaden people's view of the world through the introduction of different perpectives."

And though it differs by region, recent giving shows interest in arts and culture organizations that work across multiple disciplines. For example, Missouri's Boeing funding stream recently provided a grant to St. Louis' Arts and Education Council, which divided the pot in $5,000to $10,000 amounts amongst local arts organizations spanning music, visual art, theater and film. The Washington State funding stream awarded $40,000 to TeenTix, which provides inexpensive music, theater, dance, visual arts, and film tickets to Seattle teenagers.

Speaking of funding streams, there’s another one through which you can potentially receive arts and culture support. It’s called the Employees Community Fund of The Boeing Company, bankrolled solely by Boeing employee donations. It, too, breaks down its giving—and giving priorities—by state, and sometimes region within a state. There are 19 different Community Funds (across 17 different states, plus D.C.), and the website also provides an excellent drop-down menu to share specific guidelines for each of these funds. Not all of these Community Funds are committed to arts and culture, but many of them are.

There are viable opportunities for arts funding through Boeing, particularly at the community level, if your program syncs up with regional priorities. Check out those drop-down lists to get started.