Anthony Garand/Where Y'at Magazine

Jazz & Heritage Foundation Awards $1.2 million in Community Partnership Grants

12:00 December 24, 2020
By: Abbey Hebert

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, the nonprofit behind the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, awarded $1.2 million in Community Partnership Grants for the year 2020-2021. The foundation ensures that these donations are given to projects that perpetuate the preservation of New Orleanian arts and culture and also to projects that support local artists, performers, and musicians.

"We believe that the greatest force for change is community investment," said the executive director of the foundation, Don Marshall. "By investing in the community and nurturing local artists and organizations, the foundation creates and supports an environment in which arts and education projects can succeed over the long term."

The recipients of the Community Partnership Grants were divided into five categories: Presenting, Media and Documentation, Education In-School, Education After School, and, the newest category, Louisiana Cultural Equity Arts.

The grants in the Presenting category were given to nonprofit organizations in Louisiana that host festivals and employ local performers. The Media and Documentation grants were given to artists and performers who create works that document the unique Southern and local culture. The grants given for Education In-School were awarded to schools that include instruction in the arts as part of a typical school day, as opposed to the Education After School grants, which were awarded to nonprofits that offer arts instruction in the summer. Louisiana Cultural Equity art grants, the newest section, were given to projects owned by black, indigenous, and people of color artists and organizations that document Southern Louisianian history and culture through their unique perspective.

Edward Bucker, from the Original Big 7 Social Aid and Pleasure Club and from the Red Flame Hunters All Youth Indian Tribe, spoke about how grateful he was to have his project receive a community grant. He said, "Having the support of a local organization that is known worldwide because of the Jazz Festival is such an honor for our kids. Knowing that the Jazz & Heritage Foundation cares about children in our neighborhoods shows that Jazz Fest is dedicated to all of New Orleans."

This year was a remarkable year for community grants, as there was a 71 percent increase in the number of applications received, and the average grant award was $2,957.33. The foundation's budget for these grants has also drastically and steadily increased over the past 10 to 15 years.

"We are proud to support the incredible work our community partners are doing statewide," said Marshall. "The Community Partnership Grants are truly your Jazz Fest dollars at work."

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