$3.2 million in new funding for the arts from the Pérez Family Foundation

For the second edition of the Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation’s signature arts grantmaking program, Pérez CreARTE, the Foundation is doubling its investment in creating an accessible, equitable arts community in Miami with a $3.2 million, two-year commitment to 25 nonprofit organizations. This represents a 100% increase in support for the arts from the inaugural year of the program in 2019. 

The program received a record 284 applications and, with the help of knowledgeable staff and community experts, 25 organizations were ultimately selected to receive $3.2 million in programmatic, mission-building, and capital support over two years. Each recipient falls into one of three focus areas that the family has prioritized investment in as a way of cultivating a thriving arts ecosystem: Arts Access, Arts Education, and Artist Fellowships and Residencies. The recipients are working across the full range of artistic disciplines from music to visual to literary arts and everything in between. 

Meet the Grant Partners here.

The grantees are a mix of existing and new grantees. The Foundation found incredibly talented and inspiring grant partners when we launched CreARTE back in 2019 and elected to double-down on many of our initial investments by sustaining grants to 16 organizations to enable them to offer new and broader programs and services. O’Miami is one of the organizations receiving a follow up grant that will allow them to continue expanding their poetry in public schools programs. Another current grantee, Guitars Over Guns will leverage this new grant to scale their arts-based mentorship programming efforts to Homestead. 

Additionally, the family is investing in nine new grant partners to help them embrace artistic risk-taking, expand the diversity of creative experiences and audiences, and present work that inspires through its excellence and relevance. The Mexican American Council is a new grant partner that will use funds to deepen the Mariachi Conservatory arts education program serving the Latino migrant community in Homestead. Another new grantee, Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator, will use funds to broaden its Miami Artist-in-Residence program and promote the talents of emerging artists from the Latin and Caribbean diasporas. 

African Heritage Cultural Arts Center

This year’s CreARTE grant cycle evolved slightly since it was launched in 2019. We learned a lot from the inaugural offering and worked to improve the program and ensure it continues to align with the areas of interest of the family and the needs of the community. Some of the notable shifts and how they manifested in the final grant decisions include: 

  • The Arts Education focus area is receiving the largest investment – $1.75 million over two years. It is clear that there is significant need for increased investment in this field because of limited other local sources of funding for arts education. 
  • Equitable access to education and opportunity in the arts was intentionally added as a priority area for this year’s cycle.  Additional consideration was given to ensure that underrepresented artists, audiences, and leaders received meaningful investment for the work they are leading. 
  • The Arts Access focus area was also new this year (it replaced Spaces for Creation) and while there are only four grants awarded in this category, they are all new partners for the Pérez Foundation and are really pushing the envelope on creative ways to engage all corners of our community in the arts in non-traditional ways. 

We welcome you to join us in celebrating the 2021 cohort of Pérez CreARTE grant partners. While we are disappointed that we could not fund every promising proposal, we remain committed to making Greater Miami a vibrant, connected, and culturally engaging place to live by continuing to find new ways to invest in the arts. 

To learn more about The Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation and its areas of giving, please visit our webpage here. Belissa Alvarez is the Director of The Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation and Lindsey Linzer is the Managing Director of Community Investments at The Miami Foundation. They jointly lead the design and execution of the Pérez CreARTE Grant Program. 


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