The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with assets of $4 billion and an annual grants budget of $170 million has awarded $1 million to the 400-member service and advocacy group, Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (A.R.T./NY).
Using the award, A.R.T./NY will create a matching grant program called the Bridge Fund, which will operate as a "revolving loan fund which will offer low interest loans to A.R.T./NY members for a multitude of projects including the establishment of lines of credit, extending successful productions and improving their infrastructure[s]."
A.R.T./NY's board chairman Howard J. Aibel and executive director Ginny Louloudes issued a joint announcement on the Mellon award. As it stands, $500,000 of the Mellon award will go to establishing the Bridge Fund and A.R.T./NY will raise $250,000 in matching contributions in order to "maximize this opportunity." The $500,000 balance will be used by A.R.T./NY to initiate "services to the field and [to] strengthen the organization's infrastructure."
In the past two years, A.R.T./NY has raised its profile dramatically, establishing a new art-centered building in Brooklyn (near BAM) and offering administrative space and support to member groups there.
In a prepared statement from A.R.T./NY concerning the Mellon award, Louloudes said, "It will help us to provide even greater services to our members...the Bridge Fund will be a tremendous resource for theatres since it will offer loans for a wide variety of projects." Louloudes also said that A.R.T./NY would be able to provide "a lower interest rate than [A.R.T./NY members] would get through traditional commercial lenders and the turnaround time will be substantially faster." A.R.T./NY cited Mellon Foundation president William G. Bowden and performing arts program officer Catherine Wichterman for their "ceaseless dedication, not only to A.R.T./NY, but arts organizations throughout the country."
For additional information on A.R.T./NY call (212) 244-6667 ext. 229.
—By Murdoch McBride