What are the Bank of America ACTivate Awards?
A program that awards grants to member theatres that help promote social good by building lasting relationships, one community at a time.
Theatre Forward and Bank of America have partnered to award four to six grants of up to $50,000 each for multiple cycles toward projects that advance broader holistic Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) initiatives.
These grants will be awarded through a competitive process to Theatre Forward member theatres and will fund programs serving under-resourced communities. Theatres will build and cultivate ongoing relationships with their chosen community partners and use the funds to establish authentic and sustainable practices in these relationships. Bank of America ACTivate Awards will bring new audience members to our theatres, tell important new stories, and support the breakdown of barriers to access and opportunity onstage and off across the country.
Above are photos from our November 7th press launch at the Bank of America Tower in New York announcing the name of the program. We were delighted to have Phylicia Rashad, Tony-Winning Actress, Singer, and Stage Director join Bruce E. Whitacre and Rena De Sisto as they announced the program. We were also thrilled to hear from directors of two recipients from the Advancing Strong Theatre round of grants, Angie Kamel of Seattle Rep and Freedome Bradley-Ballentine of The Old Globe.
Photo Credit: Russ Rowland

History of Grant
This program is the next phase of our pilot grant program launched in the spring of 2018 called Advancing Strong Theatre. It was an ambitious initiative to enhance the way theatres engage with and strengthen their local community, deepen relationships, and empower individuals, so that everyone, regardless of income, education, age, race, religion, ability and/or gender identity, could experience theatre and its benefits.
The pilot round of grants was awarded to Guthrie Theater, Seattle Rep, Dallas Theater Center, and The Old Globe. It was clear that these projects have made a substantial impact on the lives of their participants, the theatres, and the broader community through storytelling workshops, free-to-public performances, professional tours to community centers, acting workshops, open mics, and other community events.
As a funder of Advancing Strong Theatre, Bank of America knew this work had to continue. Now, with an exclusive corporate sponsorship, Bank of America is securing Theatre Forward’s next phase of this grant program on a multi-year basis.

How does it work?
Member theatres will submit their ideas for programming intended to build sustainable, authentic relationships with community organizations. If selected, grants of $50,000 or more will be awarded to programs focused on equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives.

When will the grants be awarded?
This grant has been temporarily postponed due to COVID-19. We will be in touch with our theatres and applicants about the future of this grant soon.

What kind of activities are funded?
Free-to-public performances, Professional tours to community centers, Acting Workshops, Storytelling Workshops, Potluck dinners, Open-mics, and so much more!

Who participates?
Audiences, Community members, Artists, and Theatres

Who Is Eligible to Apply for this Grant?
Our network of 19 prominent regional theatres across the country! See our theatres for more info!

Create. Participate. Captivate. Collaborate. ACTivate.