City’s Cultural Equity grants provide financial relief and support for three arts and culture organizations

Three local arts and cultural organizations completed their first year of the three-year Cultural Equity Grant program from the City of Sacramento’s Office of Arts Culture. The three organizations were chosen last year to each receive $75,000 a year for up to three years, pending ongoing funding for the program.

The recipients of the grants are Instituto Mazatlan Bellas Artes de Sacramento (IMBA), a nonprofit performing arts studio, Sojourner Truth African Heritage Museum which features multicultural art exhibits, and Studio T Urban Dance, a youth focused dance studio.

“The Cultural Equity Grant program gave us access to professional mentorship, financial resources, targeted guidance, and workshops to improve our organizational capacity to serve our chosen communities,” said Abraham Perez, administration director of Instituto Mazatlan Bellas Artes de Sacramento. “The program reaffirmed IMBA’s hope for a brighter tomorrow, strengthening our resolve and guidance to focus our services’ direction. ”

“Because of the Cultural Equity Grant program, Studio T Arts & Entertainment was not only able to continue to serve our youth, we were also able to help them develop critical skills in arts and entrepreneurship which helped many of our families earn income from home and survive the pandemic,” said Tee Sandifer, owner of the Studio T Urban Dance. “Our programs have been expanded through this funding and quality mentorship. This has truly been the game changer for us.”

The Cultural Equity Grant program is designed to support culturally diverse organizations with budgets less than $500,000. The grant monies are to support general operations, arts programming and projects intended to build capacity toward organizational sustainability.

The grants are dispersed over three years and each organization is paired with a mentor to create a professional development plan for the organization, which may include managing a programming cycle, marketing, fundraising and audience development.

“Investing in cultural equity and financially supporting Sacramento’s diverse organizations is a top priority for the City,” said Ray Gargano, the City’s Office of Arts & Culture Grants Program Officer. “The Cultural Equity grants program not only helps our local cultural organizations grow with professional mentorship, but the grants will allow them to establish long-term financial stability.”

The grant program supports the City’s “Creative Edge,” a cultural plan adopted by City Council in June 2018 that details priorities for arts, cultural equity, the creative economy and more.

The grants are funded by the City’s General Fund and the organizations were chosen through a competitive panel process. This program is in addition to the $19.8 million Creative Economy Recovery program funded from the CARES Act funding that City provided last year to the arts, cultural and tourism industry.

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