Program Guidelines and Application Process
Both The Pittsburgh Foundation and The Heinz Endowments are committed to helping create a vibrant cultural life in Pittsburgh and the region. The foundations have maintained a long-term commitment to arts and culture as an important factor in the region’s quality of life, in the well-being of its citizens, and in its image and economy. We believe that a vibrant cultural life includes the notion of diverse cultural offerings that appeal to the widest array of the region’s citizenry. It is now widely recognized that Pittsburgh’s cultural offerings are one of its strongest competitive advantages; this includes a rich history and the current presence of excellent Black arts presentation and production. However, Pittsburgh has lagged in the presence of stable Black arts organizations and professional Black artists; that is, organizations and individuals whose work focuses on the art of African-Americans, Africa and the larger Diaspora—despite the fact that the city of Pittsburgh itself is over 25% African American.
Creating equity in all our funding programs is critically important, and this grants program is a next step in building strategies to create equity. We believe that the most important investments that philanthropy can make to advance Black arts in the city and region are: 1) to help to build the careers of individual artists; 2) to increase the sustainability of cultural organizations that focus on Black arts; 3) to build community awareness of the Black arts sector; and 4) to support connections between Black arts organizations and larger and predominantly white arts organizations. Growing institutional capacity, supporting career development, and building understanding and awareness within the larger community is the best way to ensure that there will be a continuing presence of these cultural forms and an increasing interest in and demand for them. These beliefs have led the two foundations to focus grant dollars on operating support, funds for individual artists, unrestricted support, and activities that advance the field collectively. If this investment strategy is successful, we will be able to measure progress in terms of growth in organizational health, career opportunities for artists, and public participation in the art of the African Diaspora.
For more information, please review the 2013 program guidelines.
February 25, 2013—funding decisions announced in April
August 15, 2013—funding decisions announced in October