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The Jazz & Heritage Foundation Awards $700,000 in Community Partnership Grants

The Jazz & Heritage Foundation Awards $700,000 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 2016-2017 Community Partnership Grants.

Of  286 applications received in four grant categories, 254, or 88.8 percent, were awarded funding.

The total amount awarded was $709,474 (up 16.6 percent from the $601,264 awarded last year and up 40 percent from the $498,590 awarded in 2014). The grants were distributed Oct. 10  at a ceremony at the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center.

"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 Donna Santiago, 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 $4 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 2016-2017 grant cycle, grants were awarded in four categories:

    One for Louisiana-based non-profit arts organizations that present festivals and other cultural events and hire local performers (75 of 82  applications received funding)
    One for artists and others who create new artistic works or otherwise document the local culture (56 of 70 applications received funding)
    One for schools providing music and art classes as part of the school day (54 of 56 applications received funding)
    One for non-profits that present after-school and summer educational programs in the arts (69 of 78 applications received funding).

The applications are reviewed and scored by committees made up of members of the Jazz & Heritage Foundation's Board of Directors and Advisory Council. The applications are then ranked by score. Those with the highest scores are awarded the largest percentage of the amount they requested.

The maximum an applicant may request is $5,000. The largest grants given this year were $4,000. The smallest was $275. The average grant award was  $2,793, down from $3,067 last year.

Although the total budget for Community Partnership Grants increased this year to $700,000 from $600,000 last year, there also was a 26 percent increase in the number of applications received. As a result, more applications were awarded funding, but the average grant amount was slightly lower.

"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 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage 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 receiving them."

Complete lists of the 2016-2017 grant recipients in each category are online at

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