East End Arts has been awarded a competitive $200,000 grant from Bank of America through the company’s Neighborhood Builders program, the not-for-profit art advocate announced this week.
The prestigious award is only given to 90 organizations nationwide, according to the Bank of America website. The money, half of which has already been received and half of which will be distributed next year, will go toward technology and other upgrades for the Riverhead-based non profit organization, according to director Pat Snyder.
Bank of America defines Neighborhood Builder recipients as “an outstanding organization focused on local neighborhood priorities,” according to a press release issued by the arts council.
“It was pretty much a surprise,” Ms. Snyder said of the award. “We kind of thought it was a long shot. As an arts organization, we aren’t typically viewed as neighborhood builders. It’s often overlooked.”
As part of the award, the organization will receive workshops with Bank of America officials on strategic thinking, leadership development and other business-related topics.
Ms. Snyder and several other representatives from East End Arts accepted the award at a ceremony at New York Institute of Technology in Manhattan Wednesday night. Other supporters and staff will meet at Diliberto Winery in Jamesport tonight at 5:30 p.m. for a reception.
“Due to the economic times, state and federal funding for all nonprofits has been cut back, and this wonderful award allows us to continue to service our constituents and expand our programs,” said East End Arts board president Annika Shapiro.
Ms. Synder said East End Arts strategic planning council, made up of members form its board of directors, will determine exactly how the money is spent.
A Bank of America spokesperson did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Now in its 40th year, East End Arts is dedicated to “bringing the arts to everyone and inspiring our communities through support, advocacy and education,” according to its website.