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Jazz & Heritage Foundation Awards $500,000 in Community Partnership Grants

Jazz & Heritage Foundation Awards $500,000 in Community Partnership Grants

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation - the non-profit that owns the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell - has announced the recipients of its 2014-2015 Community Partnership Grants.

Of 235 applications received in four grant categories, 207 were awarded funding. The total amount awarded was $498,590 (up from $361,865 last year). The grants were distributed Sept. 29 at a ceremony at the Jazz & Heritage Foundation's office in New Orleans' Treme neighborhood.

"It's an honor and a privilege to be able to support the great work that is being done by so many people in our community," said Demetric Mercadel, president of the board of directors of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation. "These are truly your Jazz Fest dollars at work."

Since 1979, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation has reinvested the proceeds from Jazz Fest directly into the community — in the form of grants to arts and educational organizations — to support projects that reflect the Foundation’s mission.

The Foundation has donated more than $3 million to nonprofit event presenters, educational programs, dance troupes, theater workshops, gallery showings, film productions, performing artists, visual artists and many more.

By investing so much into the community, and making a concerted effort to nurture local artists and organizations, the Foundation is creating an environment in which arts and education projects can succeed over the long term.

For the 2014-2015 grant cycle, grants were awarded in four categories: one for non-profit organizations that present festivals and other cultural events and hire local performers; one for artists and others who create new artistic works or otherwise document the local culture; and two for education programs (one for public schools providing music and art classes as part of the school day, and one for non-profits that present after-school and summer educational programs in the arts).

The Foundation received a total of 235 applications, down from 262 received last year, and up from the 214 received in 2013. Of the applications received, 207 were awarded funding (up from 185 last year and 125 in 2013). The total amount of funding distributed was $498,590, up from $361,865 last year and $313,205 in 2013.

The largest grants given were $4,500 (up from $3,500 last year). The smallest were $1,000.

"Every year we wrestle with the question of whether to give fewer grants in larger amounts, or to give the largest number of grants possible even if it means the individual grant sizes may be small," said Don Marshall, executive director of the Foundation. "We have found over the years that even though some of the grants may be small, they still have a big impact on the grass-roots organizations that receive them."

Complete lists of the 2014-2015 grant recipients in each category are online at http://www.CommunityPartnershipGrants.org

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The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage & Heritage Foundation is the non-profit that owns the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival presented by Shell. The Foundation uses the proceeds from Jazz Fest - and other raised funds - for year-round programs in education, economic development and cultural enrichment. For more on the Foundation's activities, see http://www.JazzAndHeritage.org

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The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, Inc.