Moody Fund for the Arts – Five Years of Supporting Small Dallas Arts Groups

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In 2017, the Galveston-based Moody Foundation was exploring a naming opportunity for Dallas City Performance Hall. The foundation had a long history of supporting the city’s major arts institutions, but wanted to create something to get behind the new and small arts organizations fueling the vibrant Dallas cultural ecosystem. The result was the Moody Fund for the Arts (MFA), which would provide flexible grants to small arts organizations across Dallas. The foundation established a $10M endowment to fund these grants in perpetuity.

2022 marks the fifth year of MFA grantmaking, reaching a diverse set of groups across many genres. Theatre, dance, music, opera, spoken word, literary arts, multi-media, visual arts, and more. This year, a record $450,000 in grants went to 52 groups. Over all five years, MFA has awarded $1,530,000 through 238 unique grants to 79 organizations.

For many recipients, MFA grants were critical during the first months of COVID shutdowns, when most earned revenue stopped. MFA doubled the amount of giving and accelerated the review process to get funds out as quickly as possible.

“[The expedited process] was a game changer and a welcomed gesture towards showing ‘the value’ of smaller arts organizations which continue to impact our arts sector and many of our most disenfranchised communities in such a big way,” said Anyika Mcmillan-Herod, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Soul Rep Theatre Company. Soul Rep has been a MFA grant recipient since the first year of giving.

“Five years later, it is exciting to see the diverse and growing list of Dallas arts organizations and projects getting support,” said Jennifer Scripps, former director of the City of Dallas Office of Arts & Culture who worked on the creation of MFA. “We see new commissions and original works, performances and projects reaching into neighborhoods, and especially the critical support MFA provided these groups during COVID. And to think, this will continue in perpetuity. It’s been an incredible success.”

The AT&T Performing Arts Center was a partner with the City and the Moody Foundation in creating the MFA. Today the Center administers the fund and its application and the multi-level peer review process.

Here is a link to the news release on this year’s awards.

2022 Moody Fund Recipients:

• Agora Artists • Kitchen Dog Theater Company
• American Baroque Opera Company • kNOwBOX Dance*
ARGA NOVA DANCE • Laughter League
• The Artist Outreach • Lone Star Wind Orchestra
• Arts Mission Oak Cliff* • Make Art with Purpose
• Artstillery • New Texas Symphony Orchestra
• Asian Film Foundation of Dallas* • No Limits Arts Theatre*
• Avant Chamber Ballet • Oak Cliff Society of Fine Arts
• Ballet North Texas • Ollimpaxqui Ballet Company*
• Bruce Wood Dance • Orchestra of New Spain
• Cara Mía Theatre Company • Over the Bridge Arts
• Creative Arts Center of Dallas • Prism Movement Theater
• Cry Havoc Theater Company • Sammons Center for the Arts
• Dallas Arts District Foundation • Second Thought Theatre
• Dallas Bach Society • Soul Rep Theatre Company
• Dallas Chamber Symphony • Swan Strings
• Dallas Metroplex Musicians’ Assoc. • Teatro Dallas
• Dance Council of North Texas • Teatro Flor Candela
• Deep Vellum Publishing • Texas Winds Musical Outreach
DFW Play • Theatre Three
• Echo Theatre • Undermain Theatre
• Flamenco Fever • Uptown Players
• Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra USA Film Festival
• Indian Cultural Heritage Foundation • Verdigris Ensemble
• Indique Dance Company* • The Women’s Chorus of Dallas
• Junior Players • The Writer’s Garret

*first time MFA Grant recipient