Opportunity Fund Awards Over $600,000 in Grants to Arts and Social & Economic Justice Efforts

Opportunity Fund Awards Over $600,000 in Grants to Arts and Social & Economic Justice Efforts

Opportunity Fund Awards Over $600,000 in Grants to Arts and Social & Economic Justice Efforts

PITTSBURGH, PA, December 1, 2017—The Opportunity Fund announces support totaling $630,830 in its fourth cycle of funding. The Opportunity Fund is a Pittsburgh-based private foundation that awards grants to organizations and initiatives that advance the arts, and social and economic justice, with at least 75% of grants benefitting the greater Pittsburgh community. Including this current grant cycle, the foundation has awarded 166 grants totaling nearly $2.4M in the 2.5 years since its inception.

The Opportunity Fund was established in 2015 upon the death of community leader Gerri Kay to continue her life’s work. It seeks grantees who champion the liberties and rights of our communities’ diverse citizens, treasure the arts and support the lives of artists, pursue social and economic justice, and proactively provide safety net resources for those in need.

The Opportunity Fund’s grants are competitive. The Board of Directors funded 46 out of 88 requests that were seeking a total of $1,558,330. A complete list of awarded grants can be found below.

Abolitionist Law Center ($10,000) to support access to hepatitis C treatment in prison, a project that includes strategic litigation and advocacy to obtain life-saving hepatitis C medication for incarcerated people, as well as public education.

Alia Musica Pittsburgh ($10,000) to support programmatic activities in 2018 including a large chamber ensemble concert, a Guest Recital Series presenting touring soloists and ensembles, and the biennial Pittsburgh Festival of New Music.

American Civil Liberties Foundation of Pennsylvania ($60,000 over three years) to support a new part-time position: Volunteer Coordinator for Western PA.

Amnesty International USA ($10,000) to support the 2018 human rights observers program to monitor policing of protests and demonstrations around the U.S.

ArtUp (Artists Upstairs) ($8,000) to support Civil Rights & Civil Wrongs: South Africa and US, social practice, community workshops, exhibition and performance at the Mattress Factory.

barebones productions ($10,000) to support artist and production fees for the upcoming theatrical season consisting of productions in a newly renovated performance space in Braddock, PA.

Benefits Data Trust ($15,000) to support The PA Benefits Center to increase access to public benefits for low-income families and individuals in the greater Pittsburgh region.

Braddock Carnegie Library ($15,000) to support Young Adult Centered Art Programming, an interconnected visual arts and creative communication program series for young adults ages 13-24.

The Braddock Inclusion Project ($20,000) to provide general operating support to create a more inclusive and sustainable environment for the marginalized, Black majority residents of Braddock.

City Theatre Company ($5,000) to support a new play reading series piloted during the 2017-2018 season.

Doctors Without Borders / Medicins Sans Frontieres ($10,000) to support general operations for medical relief projects in a variety of difficult contexts, ranging from conflict zones and refugee camps to urban slums and rural villages.

Hatch Arts Collective via fiscal sponsor Dreams of Hope ($10,000) to support Hatch’s next mainstage production.

Film Pittsburgh ($8,000) to support general operating for the 2017-2018 season.

Friendship Community Church ($3,000) to support arts programming at The Corner, including open mic/spoken word/music events, film screenings/community forums, and Art Cart education in the community.

Global Minds Initiative ($5,000) to support expanded afterschool programming to 10 additional schools in the 2017- 2018 school year.

Intersection*ology via fiscal sponsor 1Hood Media Academy ($5,000) to support an experimental stage piece and art installation-in-motion co-created and performed by artists Lori Hepner and Kendra Ross.

Office of Public Art of the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council ($20,000 over two years) to support artist residencies within organizations that serve refugees and immigrants in the Pittsburgh region.

Our Rhythm via fiscal sponsor global posse productions ($5,000) to support Musicalidades, a diverse series of multicultural performances aiming to connect groups within the Pittsburgh community through local and international music and cultural events.

The Pillow Project via fiscal sponsor Construction Junction ($10,000) to support Thought Pockets, a series of immersive public performance-art created site-specifically for the thoroughfares and alleyways of Downtown Pittsburgh.

Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank ($20,000) to support Green Grocer and SNAP Outreach.

Hebrew Free Loan Association ($10,000) to pilot a Back Utility Guarantee Fund to make micro-loans to residents of Allegheny County who owe back utilities.

Jewish Assistance Fund ($10,000) to support general operations to provide emergency funds to people facing financial crises.

Jewish Community Center for Greater Pittsburgh ($60,000 over three years) to support the Center for Loving Kindness and Civic Engagement, an initiative to advance social justice within a Jewish values framework.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh ($10,000) to support the health & human service needs of thousands of low-income families, individuals, and seniors across the region.

Landforce (also known as Pittsburgh Conservation Corps) ($15,000) to support training and employment skills development.

Legacy Arts Project ($10,000) to support general operating support for performing and visual art that increases artistic skill level, provides education on the African diaspora, and engages self-expression and creativity.

NAT 28 ($3,800) to support A Polyphony of Pride, a concert of works by LGBTQ composers as a part of Pittsburgh’s Pride celebration in June 2018.

New Hazlett Center for the Performing Arts ($17,500) toward general operations to serve as a stable, affordable rental and support facility for Pittsburgh’s diverse artists and arts organizations.

New Israel Fund ($10,000) to support general operations to advance democratic values, human rights, social and economic justice, religious freedom, equality for Arab citizens of Israel, and shared society in Israel.

New Voices Pittsburgh ($15,000) to support general operations dedicated to the health and well-being of Black women and girls through leadership development, human rights, and reproductive justice.

The Open Door, Inc. ($20,000) to support renovation of a 15-unit apartment building in Pittsburgh’s Northside that provides housing to a population of high-risk, chronically homeless people living with HIV via a harm reduction framework.

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust ($10,000) to support the 2018 Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts, a showcase of visual art, theater, dance, music, and public exhibitions never before seen in the United States.

Pittsburgh Glass Center ($10,000) to support artist residencies through the Ron Desmett Memorial Award for Imagination in Glass.

Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble ($10,000) to support general operations for artistic work in the 2018 season.

Program to Aid Citizen Enterprise (PACE) ($15,000) to support the “Capacity Building for Social Change” project.

Quantum Theatre ($10,000) to support general operations for the ambitious works of its 2017-18 season.

Radiant Hall ($15,000) to support a membership diversity initiative to increase the value of membership and reduce barriers for artists establishing their creative practices.

Riverview Apartments Inc. ($6,000) to support Elder Express Rides, a low-cost transportation option to seniors 65+.

Silk Screen, Asian American Arts and Culture Organization ($8,000) to support operating and programming support for year-round programming of Asian dance, music, and film.

sisTers PGH via fiscal sponsor Proud Haven ($6,530) to support sisTers obtain its 501c3 status, offer trainings on cultural competency/trans inclusion, and research housing programs for trans and non-binary people across the country.

Squonk Opera ($10,000) to support the Pittsburgh premiere of GRAB: free public performance events propelled by a pair of giant hands, metaphors for our collective scale and agency.

Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestras ($10,000) to support Youth Chamber Connection, a collaboration with the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra and City Music Center.

Touchstone Center for Crafts ($10,000) to support general operations to advance excellence in the arts and crafts by educating and encouraging individuals to develop technical skills, good design, and innovative expression.

Trade Institute of Pittsburgh ($15,000) to support the Life and Job Skills Preparedness Classroom.

United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania ($20,000) to support the Allegheny County Housing Connector, a collaborative pilot project to help individuals with disabilities find affordable, appropriate housing.

View ($25,000) to support the Clearview Campaign.

Grant cycles take place twice a year. Letters of inquiry for the Spring 2018 cycle are due on February 1, 2018. Full information about applying for grants as well as a directory of funded programs and projects is available at www.theopportunityfund.org.

CONTACT: Jake Goodman, Executive Director, 412-362-1300, jgoodman@theopportunityfund.org

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