BANF was created to provide resources and networks that support the vibrant Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian American, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern and other communities of color of Greater Houston in fully displaying their power, values and traditions. Its goals are achieved through grant funding, advocacy, and community-building networking initiatives that revolutionize the local funding landscape, break down silos within the arts ecosystem, and welcome everyone to support and learn from BIPOC arts communities.
Through its generous gift, Kinder Foundation, in conjunction with Houston Endowment, Ford Foundation, The Brown Foundation, Inc., The Cullen Foundation, and the Powell Foundation, paved the way for BANF’s creation. BANF distributed its first $2 million of funding to eligible applicants in January 2022.
This groundbreaking effort was born out of the Ford Foundation’s America’s Cultural Treasures initiative, which in September 2020 committed an unprecedented $156 million to support BIPOC arts communities across the country in response to the devastating economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The regional grantmaking initiative invested $35 million across seven regions, including Greater Houston, and invited local philanthropic partners to match funding in support of multi-year grant programs for cultural groups of color with exceptional regional or local significance.