During the period of July-September 2017, 14 grants totaling $5,535,000 were approved by the Surdna Foundation staff and board to further the Foundation’s mission of fostering just and sustainable communities in the United States – communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures. Grants are listed below by program area with additional information about the specific line of work within each program.  Grant information is also available in our grants database.

Strong Local Economies

National Employment Law Project, New York, NY - $750,000
General operating support. (3 years)
Category:  Equitable Economic Development


Sustainable Environments


Community Labor United, Boston, MA - $50,000      
General operating support for Community Labor United (CLU) to organize labor, community, and grassroots groups to advance policies that promote clean energy infrastructure, quality job creation, and movement building. (1 year) 
Category:  Integrated Infrastructure

Rockefeller Family Fund, New York, NY - $30,000
To support the creation and delivery of the training curriculum for the Rural Electric Cooperatives (REC) Democracy Organizing Fellowship, a regional collaboration among non-profits working to restore utility member RECs in Black Belt counties of the South. (6 months)
Category:  Just Energy: Shifting Power to People

Sustainable Business Education Initiative, Inc., Philadelphia, PA - $200,000   
To support the Sustainable Business Education Initiative’s ongoing work to grow the local green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) industry through its GSI Partners Initiative. (2 years)   
Category:  Urban Water Management


Thriving Cultures

ArtPlace America, Brooklyn, NY - $1,500,000            
General operating support for ArtPlace America, a ten-year, collaborative project among sixteen foundations, eight federal agencies, and six financial institutions dedicated to positioning art and culture as a core sector of comprehensive community planning and development to strengthen the social, physical, and economic fabric of communities. (3 years)         
Category:  Artists and Economic Development

AS220, Providence, RI - $75,000    
To support the AS220 Youth program, which intertwines art education with social justice issues by providing opportunities for young people to develop creative-entrepreneurship, leadership, and life skills. (1 year)   
Category:  Teens' Artistic and Cultural Advancement

Center for Cultural Innovation, Los Angeles, CA - $900,000

To provide support for Building Future Arts, a new project of the Center for Cultural Innovation that reconsiders the support system for artists in the United States and builds infrastructure to resource new ideas that will enable greater creative production for working artists. (3 years)  
Category:  Artists and Economic Development

Community Arts Stabilization Trust (CAST), San Francisco, CA - $300,000     
General operating support for CAST to support its mission to create stable physical spaces for arts and cultural organizations to facilitate equitable urban transformation. (3 years)       
Category:  Artists and Economic Development

Groundswell Community Mural Project, Brooklyn, NY - $100,000       
To support Groundswell’s capstone Portfolio Development artmaking program for young people ages 15-19. (2 years)
Category:  Teens' Artistic and Cultural Advancement

Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York, NY - $100,000
To support the Middle School Jazz Academy, a competitive, immersive program that offers world-class, tuition-free instrumental jazz instruction to New York City middle school students from low-income families. (1 year)       
Category:  Teens' Artistic and Cultural Advancement

Marwen Foundation, Chicago, IL - $120,000              
General operating support. (2 years)              
Category:  Teens' Artistic and Cultural Advancement

Philadelphia Mural Arts Advocates, Philadelphia, PA - $160,000         
To sustain Mural Arts’ out-of-school Art Education program for underserved teens, helping them develop positive relationships, exercise creative faculties, and contribute to the growth of their communities. (2 years)      
Category:  Teens' Artistic and Cultural Advancement

The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - $250,000
To support Social Impact of the Arts Project's (SIAP) research on social and cultural wellbeing focused on two purposes: 1) To complete data-driven analyses, begun in 2014, of culture and social wellbeing in several cities; and 2) To use those analyses and SIAP’s recently completed project in New York City to complete two products: a book on the findings, conceptualization and methods, and implications of community cultural engagement for urban public policy; and a field guide that could be used by cities, philanthropies, and researchers to implement the methods in other settings.          (2 years)
Category:  Artists and Economic Development

Joint Program Grant

Race Forward, New York, NY - $1,000,000
General operating support for the Center for Social Inclusion’s strategic capacity building work with low-income communities of color, local government, and other institutions to achieve structural racial equity across the United States.  This grant will also support the Center for Social Inclusion’s merger with Race Forward. (3 years)           
Category:  Strong Local Economies, Sustainable Environments and Thriving Cultures

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Fostering sustainable communities in the United States — communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures.