The Barr-Klarman Arts Capacity Building Initiative ("BKI") was created and funded by the Barr Foundation ("Barr") and The Klarman Family Foundation ("KFF") and managed by nonprofit research and consulting group TDC. Launched in early 2012 by the Barr Foundation, with The Klarman Family Foundation joining in partnership shortly thereafter, the Initiative sought to support the artistic quality and long-term strength of select arts and cultural institutions in Boston. BKI served 30 organizations across three cohorts –1) large/mid-size, 2) small/mid-size and 3) youth arts mastery organizations. The Initiative focused on four capacity areas:
1.Role of effective capitalization
3.Defining and achieving arts mastery outcomes with youth
4.Growing cultural competency and proficiency.
Over five years, the Initiative invested over $22 million through multi-year grants, knowledge-building activities, and technical assistance. At the time of the Initiative's design, both foundations were in an early phase of building their arts programs and were also new to collaborating with each other, so while the Initiative had broad goals and principles, it also retained an approach of adaptation to changing needs and learning along the way.