BNMC Awards Micro-Grants to 17 Local Organizations  

Awarded programs and projects aim to showcase creative ideas and strengthen community

 The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus has selected 17 organizations out of more than 60 applicants to receive a total of $36,500 in its first annual BNMC Spark micro-grant program. Local community members and organizations were invited to apply for grant funding for projects and programs that help to showcase the neighborhoods adjacent to the Medical Campus as active, vibrant places. Among those selected include El Museo’s Art in Transit Project, Michigan Street African American Heritage Corridor’s “Salute to African American History Makers,” and a Community Wellness Initiative organized by the Mulberry Street Block Club.   Funded programs include art projects, wellness programs, preservation efforts and skills development initiatives and many others.  A full list of winners can be found at www.bnmc.org/spark.

According to Marc Pope, Community Program Manager for the BNMC, “The scope and variety of applications was very impressive and it was difficult to narrow down the field to our final choices. The number of innovative ideas we received speaks to the community’s grassroots initiatives and creativity that will truly benefit local neighborhoods. We are proud to support the efforts of these community leaders to get their programs and projects off the ground or over the finish line.”

The Spark grants help programs or projects in a targeted zone around the Medical Campus that align with BNMC’s key goals of cultivating a safe accessible, active, and inclusive district that fosters health and wellbeing and is supported by smart sustainable infrastructure; strengthening the community with economic opportunities benefiting local youth, residents, businesses, and neighborhoods; and driving innovation, job growth, and economic development. Priority was also given to those initiatives that focus on access to healthy food and active living opportunities; neighborhood improvements including beautification, walkability and enhanced transportation options; arts and culture; energy and sustainability; youth and education; and access to jobs and economic opportunities.

BNMC Spark grants are designed to help organizations address funding needs or gaps for programs or projects that can be completed in 2018. While the BNMC has supported local organizations and initiatives for many years, the BNMC Sparks micro-grant program was developed to formalize the process and to attract new programs and organizations that are aligned with the BNMC’s overall goals.