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American Express Awards Over $1.2 Million In Performing Arts Grants

Submitted by: American Express Company

Categories: Philanthropy & Corporate Contributions

Posted: Jan 23, 2000 – 11:00 PM EST


Grant Funds Over a Dozen Programs Located in Seven States

Jan. 23 /CSRwire/ - American Express Company today announced over $1.2 million in grant awards through its Performing Arts Fund to more than a dozen performing arts organizations. The 13 grant recipients, located in California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas, will use their grant awards to fund outreach programs, performances, or other initiatives designed to attract new audiences to the arts (click here to see a complete list of grant recipients).

The American Express Performing Arts Fund was created in 1997 to assist performing arts organizations across the United States in developing and sustaining broader audiences. Since its inception, American Express has given more than $3.4 million to a total of 40 arts organizations in 16 different states and the District of Columbia.

“Funding the arts is an important part of our corporate commitment to give back to the community,” said Mary Beth Salerno, vice president, American Express Philanthropic Program. “These unique grants recognize the integral role played by the performing arts within a community and support programs that seek to attract new audiences and foster diversity.”

Last year’s Performing Arts Grants, totaling $1.2 million, have already produced positive results, affirming the value of this program. For example, as a result of American Express Performing Arts Fund grants:

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra held the “African Rhythms Summer Festival Sponsored by American Express.” Aimed at expanding its African American and young professional audiences, the event included a series of ticketed concerts and several free events. Ticket sales to the concerts jumped 52% over 1998 when similar performances were staged on a smaller scale.
The Mann Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania staged Pops@the Mann, starring more popular, contemporary artists to attract a younger audience. Overall attendance at the concerts rose 39% and subscription sales skyrocketed 459% following a direct mail and telemarketing campaign.
The Miami City Ballet used the American Express grant to stage several performances geared towards the Hispanic community. As a result of the events’ local popularity, the City Ballet successfully established the Hispanic Artistic and Scholarship Fund which will provide scholarships to young artists and expand children’s outreach and education programs in Hispanic communities. The fund has already raised hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Through philanthropic activities worldwide, American Express seeks to be a good citizen in the communities in which the Company does business and where American Express employees live and work. The American Express Philanthropic program, which includes the American Express Foundation and corporate giving, makes grants to non-profit organizations on behalf of the American Express Company and its subsidiaries: American Express Travel Related Services, American Express Financial Advisors and American Express Bank.

American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel, financial and network services company founded in 1850. It is a world leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, financial planning, business services, insurance and international banking.

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