News and analysis
April 22, 2015

Grants Roundup: Wallace Foundation Gives $52 Million to Expand Arts Audiences

Federico Zignani

The Los Angeles Philharmonic is one of 26 groups to receive a grant from the Wallace Foundation.

A roundup of notable new grants compiled by The Chronicle:

The Wallace Foundation announced $52 million in funding over six years for 26 major performing-arts organizations in an effort to develop sustainable ways to expand audiences.

Recipients include Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, which will look for ways to expand its audience of 21- to 30-year-olds, including special programming and testing reactions to discounted tickets. Another recipient, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, will work to establish stronger relationships with single-ticket buyers.

Participants will receive both grant funding and technical support to research their audiences and create efforts to build sustainable support.

Bloomberg Philanthropies will invest an additional $30 million in the Sierra Club with the goal of securing the replacement of half the nation’s coal fleet with clean energy by 2017. The new round of funding raises the foundation’s total investment in the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign to $80 million.

In addition, Bloomberg will lead a coalition of grant makers, including the Hewlett Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, offering matching grants of up to $30 million for Beyond Coal.

Bloomberg also launched a $42 million effort to help cities use data to increase efficiency of operations. Cities with populations of 100,000 to 1 million will be eligible to apply for help from the program, called the What Works Cities Initiative. The money will fund work from partners including the Center for Government Excellence at Johns Hopkins University and Harvard University’s Government Performance Lab, which will work with the chosen cities.

The Robertson Foundation awarded a $7.5 million grant to the California-based Nutrition Science Initiative to support scientific research on causes of obesity. Scientists will work to advance research on the role of diet composition and calories in fat storage, energy metabolism, and appetite, as well as the effect on weight gain and loss.

The Pritzker Foundation awarded radio station WBEZ $2 million over three years to fund its digital expansion. The funding will allow the station to double its four-person technology team and improve its digital interfaces and content-management system. The station has promised to match the Pritzker grant with another $2 million.

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Send an email to Eden Stiffman.