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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Charity Navigator's Top 10 Tuesday: Best Charities for the Performing Arts

Each week, Charity Navigator shares a new Top 10 list to inspire your philanthropy and introduce you to exceptional organizations you might not know.

This week, we're featuring the ten most highly-rated performing arts charities. These organizations cover a broad range of disciplines, but all are working to make the arts more open and accessible to all. Love the arts? Keep reading to learn more and be inspired by these outstanding groups.

Jacob Burns Film Center
Nonprofit. Film. Education. Community.

Founded in 1998, The Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC) is a cultural arts center dedicated to presenting the best of independent, documentary, and world cinema; promoting 21st century literacy; and making film a vibrant part of the community. Since the JBFC opened its doors to the public in June 2001, more than a million people have seen over 3,000 films from every corner of the globe. Nearly 60,000 students in grades 3-12 and in college have participated in their education programs, more than 50% of them from underserved communities throughout the tri-state area. Their education programs are grounded in 21st century literacy skills, including critical viewing and production. These skills are essential for a generation growing up in a world in which media and technology is increasingly the way we participate in community, and engage in democracy and the global economy.

Houston Ballet
☆☆☆☆ + Impact
An internationally acclaimed ballet company

Founded in 1969, Houston Ballet is an internationally acclaimed ballet company which is now America's fifth largest. The company is comprised of 59 dancers and has toured extensively to critical praise in Europe, the United Kingdom, Asia, Canada, and in cities throughout the United States. The company's home is the magnificent Wortham Theater Center, a state-of-the-art facility in which the company currently performs over 81 performances seven months out of the year. In February of 2011, Houston Ballet moved into its new Center for Dance located at 601 Preston and connected to The Wortham Theater Center by skybridge. This state-of-the-art facility is the largest center dedicated solely to dance in the U.S. Houston Ballet Academy has an enrollment of 691 students, between the ages of 3 through 60, and more than half of the professional company's dancers have come from the ranks of the academy.

Intersection for the Arts
Insist on it

Intersection for the Arts is a leading-edge arts and community development organization that connects people and communities across physical, social, cultural, and economic boundaries to instigate change. Established in 1965, Intersection's programs emphasize relationships, collaboration, and process. Intersection works with hundreds of artists through residencies, commissions, fellowships, fiscal sponsorship and incubation, performances, exhibitions, workshops and public art projects. Annually, Intersection works with more than 50 community partners across sector and field.

Creative Capital Foundation
Investing in artists who shape the future

Creative Capital supports innovative and adventurous artists across the country through funding, counsel, and career development services. Their pioneering venture philanthropy approach helps artists working in all creative disciplines realize their visions and build sustainable practices. Creative Capital provides each funded project with up to $50,000 in direct funding and career development services valued at $45,000, for a total commitment of up to $95,000 per project. Since 1999, they have committed $40 million in financial and advisory support to 511 projects representing 642 artists, and their Professional Development Program has reached nearly 15,000 artists in over 700 communities.

Lensic Performing Arts Center
Santa Fe’s performing arts center

Since opening in 1931, The Lensic has been an anchor in Santa Fe's downtown. Now, the restored theater thrives as the city's premier performing arts center, with a diverse program of world-class theater, music, dance, film and lecturers. More than just a performance venue, the Lensic is an organization with extensive programs that build partnerships within the community, provide support to fellow non-profits and include youth in all aspects of the performing arts. They are working hard, alongside the many performing groups who use the Lensic, to ensure that audiences are continually offered new and exciting performances by presenting their own unique programs and collaborating with local artists to develop original works.

The NOCCA Institute
NOCCA’s nonprofit community support and advocacy partner

The NOCCA Institute champions the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. They build philanthropic, lasting partnerships. They invest in young artists, their mentors and the community through programs that encourage educational and cultural innovation.

Kansas City Starlight Theatre
There’s something about a Starlight night

The mission of Kansas City Starlight Theatre is to present first quality professional entertainment and arts education to diverse audiences, while building an appreciation for the performing arts and preserving and enhancing the Starlight venue for future generations. As it carries out this mission, Starlight will remain committed to family-oriented entertainment at affordable prices, with a focus on musical theatre. Starlight Theatre's vision is to be the premier entertainment treasure of the heartland, where performing arts share center stage with education. Presenting Broadway entertainment since 1951, Starlight is Kansas City's oldest and largest performing arts organization.

Utah Symphony and Opera
Engaging, educating, and enriching lives

The mission of the Utah Symphony & Opera is to give great performances which engage, educate, and enrich lives.

Berkeley Repertory Theatre
The East Bay’s first resident professional theatre

Founded in 1968 as the East Bay's first resident professional theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre (Berkeley Rep) has established a national reputation for the quality of its productions and the innovation of its programming. Berkeley Rep seeks to set a national standard for ambitious programming, engagement with its audiences, and leadership within the community in which it resides. Through productions, outreach, and education, Berkeley Rep aspires to use theatre as a means to challenge, thrill, and galvanize what is best in the human spirit. Berkeley Rep was the recipient of the 1997 Tony Award for outstanding regional theatre.

Orlando Shakespeare Theater
Producing bold professional theater

With Shakespeare as the standard and inspiration, the Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF, produces bold professional theater, develops new plays, and provides innovative educational experiences that enrich our community. Their vision is to create theater of extraordinary quality that encourages the actor/audience relationship, embraces the passionate use of language, and ignites the imagination. Their goal is to be a nationally recognized destination theater offering productions and education year round for all audiences. They value professionalism, creativity, fiscal responsibility, positive audience experience, accessibility, and community enrichment.

You can use Charity Navigator’s Advanced Search Tool and Discover feature to find even more highly-rated charities preserving and expanding access to performing arts.

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