Bank of America Names Pacific Symphony as a 2022 Neighborhood Builders®Awardee

Program Provides $200,000 in Flexible Funding and Leadership Development Training

Shari Battle, Bank of America’s Senior Vice President for Local Market Organization, presents a check for $200,000 to Pacific Symphony’s President and CEO John Forsyte at this season’s Opening Night Celebration.

Pacific Symphony was named as a 2022 Bank of America Neighborhood Builders® awardee for the orchestra’s work in the Orange County community. The Neighborhood Builders program continues to be the nation’s largest investment into nonprofit leadership development. The Symphony receives a $200,000 grant over two years, comprehensive leadership training for the executive director and an emerging leader on topics ranging from increasing financial sustainability to human capital management and strategic storytelling, and it joins a network of peer organizations across the U.S. and gets the opportunity to access capital.

“Nonprofits are the backbone of our communities, working on the ground to help those struggling to overcome barriers and help people get on the path toward economic stability,” said Allen Staff, president, Bank of America Orange County. “This year’s Builders have shown exemplary leadership in continuing to serve their respective communities through unprecedented adversity. It’s important that we direct not only capital, but the necessary resources and training to help position these nonprofits and their leadership for long-term success.”

During the pandemic, Pacific Symphony continued its commitment to support local diverse communities, offering hundreds of hours of free online musical and educational programing to help ease the negative psychological impacts of isolation. Research shows the deep impact of music therapy on wellness outcomes, and music education for children and teens can increase academic achievement among low-income students. Pacific Symphony will use its grant to expand the Heartstrings program, which brings education and music therapy programs to more than 60 nonprofits and schools throughout Orange County. The grant provides the resources needed to grow from approximately 45 to 55 partners by 2024.

“Music can heal, inspire, and motivate our communities,” said John Forsyte, president and CEO, Pacific Symphony. “Bank of America is uniquely committed to building neighborhood strength through engaging arts and cultural programming, and we are grateful for that vision. Our music education and therapy programs are touching thousands of lives, and this grant enables us to expand our reach, making an even bigger impact on underserved communities that can benefit from the healing power of music.”

In Orange County, Bank of America has invested nearly $6 million into 29 local nonprofits selected as Neighborhood Builders since the program began in 2004. Through 2021, Bank of America has invested more than $280 million in 50 communities nationwide through Neighborhood Builders, partnering with more than 1,400 nonprofits and helping more than 2,800 nonprofit leaders strengthen their leadership skills.

The invitation-only program is highly competitive, and organizations are selected by a committee comprised of community leaders and past Neighborhood Builders honorees. 

Neighborhood Builders is just one example of how Bank of America deploys capital in communities, builds cross-sector partnerships, and promotes socioeconomic progress as part of its approach to responsible growth.

Bank of America

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Bank of America Names Pacific Symphony as a 2022 Neighborhood Builders®Awardee

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