Foundation donates $750,000 to city arts programs

January 06, 2000|By Holly Selby | Holly Selby,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore-based foundation funded by financier and philanthropist George Soros has announced grants totaling $750,000 that will go to the Baltimore School for the Arts, the Maryland Institute, College of Art and nine other city arts organizations in support of after-school, outreach programs.

The awards are part of a new arts initiative developed by the Open Society Institute-Baltimore, a private organization founded to develop alternative ways of dealing with inner-city issues. The foundation's goal is to provide a diverse group of children with a chance to create and experience visual art, dance, music and theater by supporting a range of art programs offered when school is not in session.

"We were really looking for arts groups with a pronounced commitment to the community," said Diana Morris, OSI-Baltimore director. "Often arts institutions have been inward-looking, and we thought we'd give support to groups that were really engaged in the community."

OSI-Baltimore was founded in 1997. It is part of a network of foundations funded by Soros and located in 32 nations as well as in New York City. The Baltimore office is the only domestic branch of the OSI outside New York. Worldwide, the foundation supports the development of innovative ways of addressing educational, social and legal issues.

In Baltimore, OSI provides support to programs including the Safe and Sound Campaign, a city-wide effort designed to help children grow up safely by providing after-school activities. (The after-school art initiative will augment this program).

It also funds 10 community fellowships, including a range of professionals from doctors to architects, who each spend 18 months in city communities developing new ways of reaching under-served populations.

The grant awards are as follows:

Museum for Contemporary Arts: $100,000 over two years in support of Connecting With the Arts, an education program that targets teen-agers.

Baltimore Clayworks: $80,000 over two years to expand a program that partners with community organizations serving youths.

Maryland Institute, College of Art: $100,000 over two years for after-school programs held in collaboration with the Child First Authority.

Sankofa Dance Theatre: $60,000 over two years to develop a plan for institutional stability.

Baltimore School for the Arts: $100,000 over two years to expand its TWIGS program, an after-school arts training program.

Children's Theatre Association: $70,000 over two years to create an after-school program for children aged 5 to 18 through neighborhood schools.

Friends of School 33 Art Center: $40,000 to establish partnerships with schools in South Baltimore during non-school hours.

Baltimore Museum of Art: $50,000 for programs in conjunction with its exhibition of works by local artist Joyce Scott including Scott residencies at Eutaw-Marshburn and George Kelson schools.

Greater Baltimore Alliance Foundation, Inc.: as much as $50,000 over one year to develop a cultural strategic plan for the Baltimore region.

Peabody Institute: as much as $70,000 over two years to develop an after-school program that will provide participatory music experience and education.

Black Cherry, Inc.: $30,000 over two years to offer community-based puppetry programs during non-school hours.

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