Ballet Memphis Receives Operating Support Grant

One of 46 Recipients Awarded These Funds from Arts Memphis

A Letter from Elizabeth Rouse, President and CEO of ArtsMemphis:

Only twice in our 60-year history have we granted this volume in a single fiscal year. Today, an additional $1 million in ArtsMemphis grants has been announced through our fiscal year 2023 cornerstone Operating Support program.

Operating Support grants have been awarded to 46 local arts organizations, who we invite you to get to know, learn from, and experience in-person this season ahead. We have been incredibly intentional in our approach to equitable funding and commitment to diversity in this process. Our volunteer panelists have contributed a collective 450 hours toward visiting, meeting, and analyzing our local arts landscape to lead us to today’s announcement.

Of the selected organizations, 57% operate with budgets below $500K, and 35% are led by a person of color with a board composed of majority people of color. On a larger scale, our work in the Midsouth Philanthropy Network’s Equity Audit, launched in 2019, has yielded data collected through grant applications across all ArtsMemphis grant programs over the past five years. Our audit reveals that grants awarded to organizations that serve audiences that are majority people of color have jumped from 19% in 2017 to 50% in 2022, and dollars awarded have increased from 12% to 48%. While this is progress, we know we have more work to do to ensure equitable investments across our community.

Thank you for joining us in the journey as we continue to reassess, reshape, and revitalize our critical arts sector.