Bloomberg grant to fund SMU’s DataArts project aimed at COVID-19 economic recovery | #education | #technology | #training

A Southern Methodist University project designed to help art organizations get more high-tech is receiving a grant aimed at speeding up pandemic recovery.

SMU’s DataArts project is one of two Texas-based organizations selected to participate in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ newly launched $30 million International Digital Accelerator Program last week to help cultural nonprofits speed their economic recovery following COVID-19.

It is unclear how much DataArts and the Austin Opera, the other nonprofit selected from the state, will receive.

A joint project from the Meadows School of the Arts and Cox School of Business, SMU DataArts analyzes data on art organizations and provides free reports to help with data-driven decision making, director Zannie Voss said. Increasing art groups’ data capabilities will help them achieve critical insights to the field faster, she said.

“The investment in strategic planning and technology combined are so important to long-term sustainability,” Voss said in a statement. She added that the grant will help DataArts expand its data capabilities for local groups. (SMU supports The Dallas Morning News Education Lab.)

In total, 46 organizations from the United States and United Kingdom were chosen to receive the Bloomberg funding.

Bloomberg wants to provide tools and training to art organizations so such groups can increase their digital infrastructure that will allow them to increase audience, fundraising and revenue. Bloomberg’s grants can also help support in-person or virtual programming.

“When the pandemic hit, cultural organizations everywhere got creative and adapted quickly to keep their virtual doors open,” Patricia E. Harris, CEO of Bloomberg Philanthropies, said in a statement.

Bloomberg Philanthropies invited organizations to apply for the program based on their creativity, service to diverse communities and improved digital presence during the pandemic.

Each organization will work with a Bloomberg Tech fellow, who will help support the digital infrastructure of the cultural non-profit through training and development work.

The full list of organizations selected for the program can be found on Bloomberg’s website.

The DMN Education Lab deepens the coverage and conversation about urgent education issues critical to the future of North Texas.

The DMN Education Lab is a community-funded journalism initiative, with support from The Beck Group, Bobby and Lottye Lyle, Communities Foundation of Texas, The Dallas Foundation, Dallas Regional Chamber, Deedie Rose, The Meadows Foundation, Solutions Journalism Network, Southern Methodist University and Todd A. Williams Family Foundation. The Dallas Morning News retains full editorial control of the Education Lab’s journalism.

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