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Bank of America sponsors Atlanta Celebrates Photography

Atlanta Celebrates Photography has announced its first major corporate sponsorship. Bank of America will be the presenting sponsor of the 2010 festival.

ACP’s annual month-long citywide event, which takes place in October, works with hundreds of partners to present exhibitions, lectures, classes and special programs for audiences, from newbies to collectors, and photographers — students and amateurs as well as a wide array of professionals.

The $20,000 sponsorship, which would be substantial for most arts organizations, is a huge leg up for ACP, which operates on a $236,000 annual budget. Another plus is the opportunity to build bridges with the bank’s employees. ACP executive director Amy Miller says she and bank officials are working to find ways to involve employees, both as audience and volunteers.

Miller hopes that this high-profile support will provide leverage. “Sponsorships often attract other corporate donors,” she says. “We’ve tried for years to get them, but it’s very hard unless you have connections.”

In this case, it was serendipity. BOA senior vice president Shirley Mitchell, who serves on the regional grant committee of the Bank of America Foundation, is also on the advisory board of the Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund. She reviewed ACP’s (successful) grant application to the fund and came away mightily impressed.

“They have an incredible reach — 100,000 individuals in a month — and on a shoestring budget,” Mitchell says. “An organization that can touch so many people and provide a quality-of-life experience is a good fit for our foundation.”

The group’s impact goes beyond individuals, she adds. “ACP is helping to promote economic development in Atlanta, and to keep some of our artists here.”

The sponsorship is for one year. ACP may, however, reapply.

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