Cultural Engagement, Youth Development, and the Arts

The Foundation has had a longstanding interest in the arts, reflecting Benjamin Altman’s personal commitment and our belief in the essential role that cultural engagement and the arts play in enriching the lives of New Yorkers and creating new avenues of exploration and opportunity for the city’s young people. Given our particular focus on issues of access and inclusion, the Foundation invests in organizations, programs, and projects that achieve results aligned with the objectives outlined below. As a general rule, the programs that we support take place outside of the public schools. Please note that the "Results Sought" reflect the specific outcomes of interest to us.

Promote positive youth development among underserved youth through engagement in arts, cultural, and other unique programs that provide sequential opportunities to participate over an extended period of time.

Results Sought:

  1. Significantly increase mastery of program-specific competencies and developmentally appropriate life skills
  2. Prepare participants to transition successfully to post-secondary and/or professional opportunities, including employment in the creative economy

2018 Grants

Ballet Tech Foundation, Inc.
$50,000 (over two years)
To help support citywide auditions for public elementary school children and provide tuition-free ballet training, from beginner through the pre-professional level, for students from underserved backgrounds

Beam Center Inc.
To support BeamWorks Youth Apprentices and Teen Instructors, a training program for low-income public high school students

Brooklyn Youth Chorus Academy, Inc.
$100,000 (over eighteen months)
To help support the Choral Music Education and Performance Program’s direct service to 700 socio-economically diverse young people, and to launch an Artistic Leadership and Training Initiative designed to help build artistic capacity, train junior staff, and cultivate a future leadership succession path

Center for Family Life in Sunset Park
To support positive growth and development of underserved youth in Sunset Park through the Life Lines Community Arts Project

The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
$120,000 (over eighteen months)
To help support the Saturday and Outreach Programs—arts intensive, college-preparatory programs for New York City high school students from underserved communities—and the implementation of an in-depth assessment of both programs

Groundswell Community Mural Project, Inc.
$70,000 (over two years)
To help support the implementation of its recent strategic plan, including initiatives to enhance Master Studio programs and evaluation tools

Hudson River Community Sailing
To help launch a second youth development program serving middle school students in Inwood and support Sail Academy college-going alumni

Jazz at Lincoln Center, Inc.
To help support the Middle School Jazz Academy and continue work with MSJA alumni

Mind-Builders Creative Arts Company, Inc.
$100,000 (over two years)
To provide capacity building support for Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center

New Heights Youth, Inc.
To support planning and capacity building in preparation for program expansion and a possible move to the Bedford-Union Armory development in Crown Heights, Brooklyn

Peter Westbrook Foundation, Inc.
To provide program support for this youth development program anchored by the sport of fencing

Queens Council on the Arts, Inc.
$50,000 (over two years)
To help support the High School to Art School Portfolio Development Program

Reel Works Teen Filmmaking
$50,000 (over fifteen months)
To support MediaMKRS, an innovative digital credentialing platform for media studies and workforce readiness in film and entertainment

Row New York, Inc.
$150,000 (over two years)
To provide general operating support for Row New York's youth development work

Staten Island Children's Museum
To help support the Museum Intern and Ambassador Program for teens

Woodlawn Conservancy, Inc.
$80,000 (over two years)
To help support the Preservation Training Program, a workforce development initiative helping young people develop job skills and obtain employment in stone masonry and historic preservation while also contributing to the restoration of The Woodlawn Cemetery, a National Historic Landmark