Our Call to Funders to Commit to Black Communities Through Action and Investment

We at Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) continue our call to funders to commit to Black communities through action and, importantly, investment! We join the call of our colleagues at ABFE, A Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities, and many others to support the Movement for Black Lives' demand to invest in Black communities.

The largest predominantly Black theatre company has an annual budget of $3.5 million, as compared to $50 million per year at White nonprofit theaters.

In a country where 33% of the residents are ALAANA folks, just 4% of cultural philanthropy is granted to ALAANA organizations. Only 0.6% of philanthropic dollars went to women of color in 2016.

And, Black-led organizations (BLOs) that do receive funding regularly experience Philanthropic Redlining or the Philanthropic Black Code, written and unwritten policies and practices that funders use to ensure BLO grantees are compliant with the terms of the grant.

In line with our ongoing commitment to increasing racial equity in arts funding toward the realization of racial justice, we at GIA call for increased investment of philanthropic, public, and corporate dollars in Black cultural communities. Move rhetoric to action; invest in Black communities at an amount that makes you uncomfortable; take on additional debt or spend more than the minimum 5% payout of endowments; engage trustees and board members in anti-racist work; push for structural change within institutions and across the field overall; and join GIA and our members in reimagining systems of power and practice toward a liberated future where Black people not only live, but thrive.

Please visit our Black Arts & Cultural Funding and Justice Resource Hub to learn about funds that support Black arts and for additional reading.

Image: Maria Oswalt / Unsplash