What ARe The Bank of America ACTivate Grants?
Bank of America ACTivate Grants seeks to foster and accelerate a theatre’s efforts to become more equitable, diverse, welcoming, and inclusive to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) individuals and groups.
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. The program supports essential internal work for the theatre’s staff and board and/or projects that are outwardly focused towards BIPOC segments of a community that are under-represented in a theatre’s programs.
While most member theatres have acknowledged the need to become more equitable, diverse, and inclusive for years, following the death of George Floyd in the spring of 2020, which led to protests in some cities, the work took on greater urgency. Theatres vowed solidarity with those demonstrating against systemic racism and sought strategic measures to dismantle white supremacist culture within their institutions. In fervent public statements, theatres pledged to go beyond words and take decisive action aimed at transforming their institutions into more equitable, welcoming, and safe spaces for BIPOC individuals as employees, board members, audience members, and participants in other programs.
Bank of America ACTivate Grants support the crucial next steps in becoming anti-racist institutions.
History of Grant
This program comes as the next phase after 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 and more 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.
Create. Participate. Captivate. Collaborate. ACTivate.