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JazzArts Charlotte announces new 2-year grant from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

November 2021 —  The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) has approved a 2-year grant to support JazzArts Charlotte’s operations and programming efforts through Dec 2022.

This grant funds efforts aimed at continuing to serve the jazz music and education community and develop programming to reach those communities in the wake of the COVID pandemic. This investment, made possible by proceeds from a social impact bond, is part of DDCF’s response to the performing arts field’s need for financial support during a protracted period of uncertainty brought about by the ongoing pandemic.

“We are grateful for our partnership with the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation,” said Lonnie Dsvis, Founder and CEO of JazzArts Charlotte. “With the investment made through this funding we can continue the important work of our mission, education, performance and musician support for jazz, in new and exciting ways.”

The need is clear, especially now. As DDCF recognizes, “a vibrant arts and culture sector contributes to the emotional and social well-being of individuals, communities and nations. Performing artists are central to the sector, sparking the public imagination, creating new bridges of understanding and enhancing quality of life.” DDCF is dedicated to advancing the careers of artists from subsistence to sustainability and supporting arts organizations across the country that help performing artists thrive. With programming cessation, venue closures, and performance cancelation, organizations across the nation, like JazzArts Charlotte and the musicians supported within their communities, have struggled.

JazzArts Charlotte has shifted our infrastructure to offer musicians and the community virtual opportunities to continue experiencing the value of jazz music. These include interactive artist conversations, virtual performances, a shift to virtual youth education and a deeper dive into adult education virtually, to name a few. Musicians are vital to every aspect of our programs and mission at JazzArts Charlotte. Even through the past year, JazzArts continues to contract over 130 local and regional musicians annually.

Most of these programs have been free to the public, as it was important to JazzArts Charlotte to create the broadest possible accessibility and inclusivity. The incremental support of the DDCF is part of what makes that possible. JazzArts Charlotte plans to reemerge post-pandemic refocused on the newly discovered ways to be relevant to the community we serve.

“The pandemic-induced performing arts shutdown is having a deep and lingering impact on arts organizations across the country,” said Maurine Knighton, program director for the arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

“While the sector is beginning to emerge, the path forward is still far from certain. Despite the unprecedented disruption, many of these organizations have continued to prioritize supporting artists and have come up with innovative ways to bring artistic work to audiences and the communities they serve. DDCF is grateful to provide this responsive, flexible funding to Jazz Arts Charlotte and other performing arts nonprofits through our Performance Forward Fund, with trust in their leadership to address their most critical needs as they navigate this moment and build toward the future.”

JazzArts Charlotte is the only nonprofit dedicated to jazz education, performance, and support for jazz musicians in the region and is one of the area’s top emerging arts organizations.

About the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, child well-being and medical research, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties. The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation focuses its support to the performing arts on contemporary dance, jazz and theater artists, and the organizations that nurture, present and produce them. To learn more, visit

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