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."