New York: BKSteppers begin 2020 with the great news that they are recipients of a $126,000 grant from the Mosaic Network and Fund in the New York Community Trust and a $45,000 grant from the New York Urban League – Communities of Color Nonprofit Stabilization Fund.

Awarded over three years, the Mosaic grant enables BKSteppers to expand its music performance and school-based programming mission among students in underserved areas of Brooklyn. In her December 18 award letter addressed to BKSteppers’ Executive Director Antonio Thompson, New York Community Trust President Lorie Slutsky noted that BKSteppers’ grant application was chosen as one of 27 awards among a field of over 200 applicants.

Established in 2018, by the New York City Trust, the Mosaic Network and Fund directs robust grant funding to arts groups that are led by, created for, and accountable to African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, and Native American (ALAANA) people. Bolstered by support from 19 foundations focused on racial equity, the Mosaic Fund aims to sustain and expand the impacts of ALAANA arts organizations.

The New York Urban League – Communities of Color Nonprofit Stabilization Fund award, provided by the New York City Council will support BKSteppers’ capacity-building efforts among underserved children and youth in Brooklyn neighborhoods and schools. Under the leadership of President & CEO Arva Rice, the New York Urban League helps disadvantaged New Yorkers “find humanity in the big city” through connection-building and access to equal opportunity in employment, education, financial, and technological literacy. Celebrating 100 years of impact in New York, the League’s significant contribution to BKSteppers is the latest investment in the organization’s storied history of material support to change agents in the City.

“We are grateful that the Mosaic Fund and the New York Urban league chose to invest in our organization and, more importantly, the communities and children that are served by the BKSteppers.  We look forward to using these funds towards growing the organization and continuing the great work of our Executive Director and teaching artists.” – Michael Huttenlocher. Board Chair.

Led by Antonio Thompson and an energized board of directors, BKSteppers Marching Arts is a music and dance education program committed to developing personal excellence in young people through unique and innovative educational programming as well as marquee performance opportunities.

Along with the generous grants from the Mosaic Network and Fund and the New York Urban League, BKSteppers receive substantial support from New York City Council Members Stephen Levin, Matheiu Eugene, Robert Cornegy, & Eric Ulrich, Con Edison, Microsoft Foundation, Goldman Sachs, D'Addario Foundation, Investors Bank, Floyd Advisory, Macy's Foundation, New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, System Blue, Evans Drumheads, Promark by D'Addario, Zildjan Company, and WeWork Dumbo Heights.

About The Mosaic Fund in The New York Community Trust

The New York Community Trust connects past, present, and future generous New Yorkers with vital nonprofits working to make a healthy, equitable, and thriving community for all. It is a public grantmaking foundation dedicated to improving the lives of residents of New York City, Westchester, and Long Island. It also hosts a number of collaborative funds, bringing foundations together to promote shared learning, pool resources, and collectively make grants that address timely issues.

The Trust established the Mosaic Network and Fund in 2018 to direct more resources to arts groups that are led by, created for, and accountable to African, Latinx, Asian, Arab, and Native American (ALAANA) people. With 19 foundations contributing, and values rooted in racial equity, the Fund aims to: Create a learning community of arts funders and practitioners who are dedicated to helping ALAANA arts organizations thrive; Provide flexible and strategic support that strengthens the organizational capacity of local ALAANA arts organizations; Advocate for more equitable policies and practices for ALAANA cultural workers; and increase overall philanthropic support for City-based ALAANA arts groups by facilitating funder commitments to new grantees.