Bud Meyerhoff believed we could provide the most help for institutions and activities that benefit the middle class of Baltimore. As our grantmaking has grown and transformed, we expanded our work in 2010 to focus on middle neighborhoods in Baltimore City. We believe these neighborhoods provide the backbone for our communities and our world. Our current strategies support several middle neighborhoods and the fabric of life in Baltimore as a whole.
Middle Neighborhoods Focus
Baltimore City has many healthy middle neighborhoods. Middle neighborhoods have strong housing stock, a good network of schools, and local organizations and institutions focused on enhancing the quality of life in their neighborhoods. These communities benefit from targeted grantmaking and investment strategies.
Recognizing the importance of healthy middle neighborhoods and understanding that our funding could not include the whole city, we spent more than a year engaged in research and discussions with a of variety of community leaders. In 2010, we selected the communities of Belair-Edison, Hamilton-Lauraville, and Patterson Park because they have the characteristics of strong middle neighborhoods.
Together these communities are the cornerstone of our Target Neighborhoods approach. Investing in these Target Neighborhoods and their community-based organizations builds on their strengths. We provide funding to organizations and institutions working to keep these communities vibrant and viable for the residents. We believe these community assets encourage people to choose to move or to stay in Baltimore, and therefore they are worthy of the Funds’ investment.
We have committed over $5.5 million since 2010 to these neighborhoods and have engaged other funding partners to build relationships. Our goal is to maintain and strengthen these Target Neighborhoods. Each neighborhood requires different investments because each one has its own distinctive character.
Some of our investments include:
- Partnering with Healthy Neighborhoods, Inc. in its work with organizations in our Target Neighborhoods.
- Supporting Belair-Edison Neighborhoods, Inc., Hamilton-Lauraville Main Street, and the Southeast Community Development Corporation to sustain and improve the economic viability of the communities they serve.
- Supporting charter and parochial schools of excellence – such as City Neighbors schools, St. Francis of Assisi, The Belair-Edison School, and Patterson Park Public Charter School – which provide education options to encourage families to stay in Baltimore when their children reach school age.
- Making grants that encourage collaboration among non-profits. For example, we make grants to Young Audiences Arts for Learning, Maryland and Maryland Science Center, which provide programmatic support to schools in our Target Neighborhoods. These organizations and schools work together to support families and children.
- Supporting the University of Maryland Social Work Community Outreach Service (SWCOS), which provides neighborhood fellows to community organizations in our Target Neighborhoods and other communities.
Supporting Fabric of Life in Baltimore City
We support institutions in Baltimore City that reach large numbers of people and improve the quality of life through the arts, education, and gathering spaces of all kinds. Program grants and capital contributions to libraries, museums, community centers, theatres, and playgrounds are the foundation of this work. These grants advance access and help to create the vital civic and cultural environment we believe is necessary to attract and retain a vibrant healthy community.
Demographics show an influx of young professionals enthusiastic about meaningful urban living in Baltimore. We are dedicated to improving the quality of life and supporting people’s commitment to a vibrant Baltimore City. Some programs and organizations we support include:
- Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts: the producer of Artscape, the Baltimore Book Festival, Free Fall Baltimore, Brilliant Baltimore, and the Baltimore Farmers Markets.
- Enoch Pratt Library branches.
- The Baltimore Museum of Art, the Walters Art Museum, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
- Capital grants to the National Aquarium, MD Science Center, and Port Discovery.
Left Banner: Photo courtesy of Real Food Farms.
Right Banner: Photo courtesy of Hamilton-Lauraville Main Streets.