Member Spotlight: The Opportunity Fund

During the months of December 2021 and January 2022, GIA’s photo banner features work supported by The Opportunity Fund.

This is the text The Opportunity Fund submitted for this Spotlight:

The Opportunity Fund is a Pittsburgh-based private foundation that awards grants to small to midsize arts organizations, and organizations and initiatives that advance social and economic justice.

2021 marked an expansion of people involved in the Opportunity Fund with yvette shipman (Program Officer/Repair) joining Tiffany Wilhelm (Program Officer/Operations) and Jake Goodman (Executive Director) on the small staff team, as well as four community members joining the two family members that have been part of the foundation since its inception in 2015. Our commitments to racial justice in 2020 resulted in more multi-year general operating support grants to Black-led arts organizations and the allocation $50,000 in initial seed money to establish a fund by Black people for Black people. As a result, yvette shipman assembled the Opportunity Fund Innovation Ventures (OFIV) Community Advisors: a discipline-broad, experience-rich, intergenerational team of Black contributors. Lessons learned and shared by the OFIV Community Advisors challenge traditional grant funding process to expand both its processes and its imagination. Many of the recommended innovations will play out in a significantly larger funding area in 2022 focused on Black women. We were also grateful to partner with our fierce colleagues at The Pittsburgh Foundation to support a new funding program for artists--the Exposure Artist Program that explicitly supports artists’ creative practice (rather than projects), gives multi-year unrestricted support to artists, and does not require artists to submit a budget with their application.

Opportunity Fund is proud to be a member of GIA since 2017 and excited to share these images and information about some of the arts entities in Pittsburgh that we are honored to support. The artistry, creativity, and transformation that these artists and cultural workers bring to this region, and beyond, inspires us deeply.

You can also visit The Opportunity Fund’s photo gallery on GIA’s Photo Credits page.

Image: Eric A. Smith. Courtesy of Hill Dance Academy Theatre and Opportunity Fund.