The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation — the non-profit that owns the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell — has announced the recipients of its 2018-2019 Community Partnership Grants.
Of 309 applications received in four grant categories, 273, or 88 percent, were awarded funding. The total amount awarded was $807,350, up from $800,980 awarded last year and from $709,475 awarded in 2017. Checks for grant awards in two categories were distributed Oct. 25th in a ceremony at the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center. A second ceremony was held Oct. 26th to distribute the remaining grant awards.
“It’s an honor and a privilege to be able to support the great work that is being done by so many people in our community,” said Kathleen Turner, President of the Board of Directors of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation. “These are truly your Jazz Fest dollars at work.”
Since 1979, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation has reinvested the proceeds from Jazz Fest directly into the community — in the form of grants to arts and educational organizations — to support projects that reflect the Foundation’s mission. The Foundation has donated more than $7 million to nonprofit event presenters, educational programs, dance troupes, theater workshops, gallery showings, film productions, performing artists, visual artists and many more.
By investing so much into the community, and making a concerted effort to nurture local artists and organizations, the Foundation is creating an environment in which arts and education projects can succeed over the long term.
For the 2018-2019 grant cycle, grants were awarded in four categories:
* One for Louisiana-based non-profit arts organizations that present festivals and other cultural events and hire local performers (68 of 83 applications received funding; list of recipients)
* One for artists and others who create new artistic works or otherwise document the local culture (47 of 68 applications received funding; list of recipients)
* One for schools providing music and art classes as part of the school day (all 74 of the applications received were awarded funding; list of recipients)
* One for non-profits that present after-school and summer educational programs in the arts (all of the 84 applications received were awarded funding; list of recipients).
The applications are reviewed and scored by committees made up of members of the Jazz & Heritage Foundation’s Board of Directors and Advisory Council. The applications are then ranked by score. Those with the highest scores are awarded the largest percentage of the amount they requested.
The largest grants given this year were $5,000 – the maximum that may be requested. The smallest was $200. The average grant award was $2,957.33, up from $2,810 last year. All grant awards must be matched by an equal amount of funds the applicants raise from other sources.
The number of applications received this was 309, down from 325, last year. The number funded this year was 273, down from 285 last year.
In the category for in-school arts instruction programs, the number of applicants rose by more than 40 percent, from 52 in 2017 to 74 this year. The increase is likely due to making applications available much earlier — in February; applications for the other three categories were made available in April. One hundred percent of applicants in the two education categories received funding this year.
The total budget for Community Partnership Grants this year was $800,000, the same amount as last year, and up from $700,000 in 2016 and $600,000 in 2015. (The amount awarded was actually over budget by $7,000.) The budget for the program has increased steadily each year since 2011-2012, when it was $265,000. Prior to Hurricane Katrina, grants were awarded every other year, and the budget for each cycle was only $125,000.
For more detailed grant statistics, see here.
“Every year we wrestle with the question of whether to give fewer grants in larger amounts, or to give the largest number of grants possible even if it means the individual grant sizes may be small,” said Don Marshall, Executive Director of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation. “We have found over the years that even though some of the grants may be small, they still have a big impact on the grass-roots organizations receiving them.”