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Arts & Culture Anne Arundel Fund

Established in 2012 by a generous anonymous donor, the Arts & Culture Anne Arundel Fund was created to enhance the vibrancy and creativity of Anne Arundel County by offering access to arts and cultural activities for all residents. The Fund grew over time and in 2016, a group of donors came together to explore how to implement the vision for the Fund.

Driven by the belief that arts and culture are essential to transforming lives and increasing the quality of life across all ages, populations, and geographies, donors Tara Clifford, Beverly Marcus, Martha Blaxall, Melanie Teems, and Alpine and Don Bird started meeting monthly. In these meetings, discussions ranged from providing nonprofits who offer arts and culture programs with direct service or operating grants, funding a county-wide awareness campaign, among other ideas. The funders were focused on having the greatest impact possible with their dollars. Melanie Teems introduced the possibility of helping to strengthen arts and culture nonprofits in the county through the Maryland Nonprofits Standards for Excellence Institute and the Arts & Culture Standards for Excellence Cohort was born.  

The Standards for Excellence Institute is a national initiative established to promote the highest standards of ethics, effectiveness, and accountability in nonprofit governance, management, and operations. In 2017, in partnership with the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County, eleven nonprofits were selected to participate in an 18-month collaborative training program designed to help nonprofit organizations meet these high benchmarks: Annapolis Opera, Annapolis Arts District, Annapolis Film Festival, Annapolis Maritime Museum, Chesapeake Arts Center, Creative Performing Arts of South County, Encore Creativity for Older Adults, Maryland Federation of Art, Maryland Hall, Maryland Concert Series, and The Musical Autist.

It is anticipated that through a series of training sessions, coaching conference calls, and individual consulting, culminating in submission of a Standards for Excellence® application by the participating organization, the cohort participants will experience increased sustainability and public trust, a strengthened board of directors, improved overall organizational effectiveness and efficiency, and the ability to provide more program opportunities to Anne Arundel County residents.


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