Administered by ArtsFund and funded by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, the program builds on the success of its 2023 pilot, which supported more than 650 organizations with unrestricted funding.
Today, ArtsFund and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation announced the 2024 Community Accelerator Grant program, which will distribute $10 million in unrestricted funding to organizations across Washington whose primary mission is to produce or support arts and culture activities.
This second round of funding builds on the program’s groundbreaking 2023 pilot, which provided a total of $10 million to 671 organizations and will continue to prioritize organizations that center BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities, and those located in rural communities.
“The initial round of the Community Accelerator Grant taught us so much about the positive impact unrestricted funding has on arts and culture organizations,” said ArtsFund President and CEO Michael Greer. “Empowered by the unrestricted funds provided by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, recipients have been able to address their specific needs, and invest in their missions and essential roles serving communities across Washington State.”
The program funded every eligible applicant in 2023, including organizations in 35 of Washington’s 39 counties. While the funding could be used for any aspect of the grantees’ work, recipients indicated their greatest needs were for salaries and labor, programming, and rent and facility costs.
For instance, Spectrum Center, an Eastern Washington 2SLGBTQIA+ (Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, and other sexual identities) organization, used their Community Accelerator Grant to fund their Adult Art Camp program, a free and inclusive set of classes for individuals interested in discovering new modes of self-expression and fostering community.
“This funding was pivotal in launching Adult Art Camp,” said Executive Director Roo Ramos. “The program was so well received, we plan to offer it again later this year and integrate it into our regular programming.”
The low-barrier application and relatively fast turn-around time between application and funding also played an important role in supporting organizations as they bounced back from the pandemic. Ultimately, 97 percent of 2023 grant recipients reported that they believe this program will help them raise additional revenue, supporting the “accelerator” concept.
“The Community Accelerator Grant shows the power of this community-driven model, and the impact that can be made when organizations themselves choose how to use urgently needed funds,” said Lara Littlefield, Executive Director for Partnerships & Programs of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. “Arts and culture organizations are central to vibrant and healthy communities and we recognize the broader need to empower these organizations and all that they do for Washingtonians across our state.”
Applications for the 2024 program will run from February 5 to March 5, 2024. The process will again utilize a Community Advisory Panel, which will inform the application, outreach, and awardee slate. Further details about the application process, the advisory panel, and criteria will be shared in January of next year.
ArtsFund supports the arts through leadership, advocacy, and grantmaking in order to build a healthy, equitable, and creative Washington. ArtsFund was originally founded to bring corporate and civic leaders together to help establish and sustain our region’s arts and cultural institutions. Over its grantmaking history, ArtsFund has granted more than $115MM to over 1,000 organizations in 37 out of 39 Washington state counties. Additionally, leadership and advocacy programs such as Board Leadership Training, the Cultural Partners Network, and Arts Impact Reports support the health and wellbeing of our communities. Learn more at www.artsfund.org.
About Paul G. Allen Family Foundation
Founded in 1988 by philanthropists Jody Allen and the late Paul G. Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, the foundation invests in communities across the Pacific Northwest to enhance the human experience of arts & culture, center under-served populations, and mobilize young people to make impact. In addition, the foundation supports a global portfolio of nonprofit partners working across science and technology solutions to protect wildlife, preserve ocean health, and create lasting change. The foundation also funds the Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group, which works to advance cutting-edge research in all areas of bioscience. Learn more at www.pgafamilyfoundation.org.