United Arts of Central Florida recently received an additional $50,000 from Duke Energy Florida to strengthen its Diversity in the Arts grants program.
This grant effectively doubled the Diversity in the Arts program’s funding pool, increasing it from $50,000 (received from the Duke Energy Foundation in 2021) to $100,000.
“At Duke Energy, diversity and inclusion remain at the center of what we do, and we are proud to partner with nonprofits that strive to enhance the quality and variety of cultural experiences throughout Florida,” said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president. “This support from Duke Energy Florida and its foundation will assist United Arts of Central Florida in bringing new voices, perspectives and practices into the arts and creating a more diverse and inclusive environment for new and returning artists and admirers.”
United Arts’ Diversity in the Arts grants program was introduced in 2021 to take an action-oriented approach to increasing opportunities for people of color to create and participate in cultural programming in Central Florida.
The freshman class of grant recipients included 10 organizations led by people of color that had not previously been funded by United Arts. Two of the 10 went on to receive awards from United Arts’ FY22 project grants cycle, illustrating the program’s objective to invite and encourage participation in United Arts’ other grant and contract-for-service offerings. United Arts aims to engage with 10 more such organizations in the next grants cycle.
“Our goal is to achieve a more diverse, inclusive, equitable and accessible cultural sector,” said Jennifer Evins, president and CEO of United Arts. “This program’s focus is on strengthening organizations that build diverse leadership and participation in the arts across our four counties of service, and we are so grateful for Duke Energy’s partnership in expanding the program’s community impact.”
To activate this round of grants, United Arts is putting together an advisory cohort to collaboratively build an inclusive, intentional and impactful grant process. Cohort members will include past Diversity in the Arts grantees, potential applicants, community leaders and key stakeholders, who will bring their knowledge of the community, past experiences and expertise to remove barriers to access and identify opportunities for innovation. The application will open this Spring with grants awarded in the Summer of 2022.