The Bank of America Chartiable Foundation Views the Arts as a "Community Anchor"

“High-impact” and “visionary” are two terms the Bank of America Charitable Foundation uses to describe the organizations that earn its support. In the realm of arts and culture, that boils down to high-impact and visionary programs that contribute to the creation of community and to neighborhood revitalization.

There are interesting opportunities for funding here, as long as you’re geographically situated: Namely, the foundation has its sights on specific cities and states where its banks have a presence. It’s an extensive list that currently covers 34 states plus Washington, D.C.

The foundation breaks down its giving into three “priority focus areas." Its support of art in communities unsurprisingly flows through its Community Development funding stream.

Within community development, arts and community initiatives fall most squarely under the Bank of America Charitable Foundation's Community Revitalization sub-area, which the foundation describes as "Supporting local and regional revitalization efforts taking a comprehensive approach to create economic opportunity and communities of choice. This may include large infrastructure and cultural institutions that are economic drivers for employment and contribute to overall community vitality."

The foundation calls these neighborhood-enriching arts programs "community anchors," both arts events and institutions that "provide economic opportunity and contribute to the vitality and livability of communities." A recent example is its $10,000 gift to the Sawdust Festival in Laguna Beach, California.

It's worth noting the foundation's other emphases within community revitalization and neighborhood preservation. They include improving green spaces, business development and transforming neglected/blighted properties (particularly shut-down banks!). If you can position your community-engaging arts program within one or more of these other contexts, so much the better.