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Amazon pledges $1 million to Boston arts organizations

The donations are led by what the company calls an “anchor investment” to the Boston Arts Academy. Above, a BAA student sat with his trumpet in 2018.Jessica Rinaldi

Select Boston arts groups are set to receive a cash infusion after Amazon announced Saturday it was donating $1 million to organizations hit hard by the pandemic.

The donations, which will support everything from education to live performances, are led by what the company calls an “anchor investment” of $150,000 to the Boston Arts Academy Foundation.

“The organizations we are channeling resources to are embedded in local Boston neighborhoods and prioritize making art accessible to all Bostonians,” Jerome Smith, Amazon’s senior manager of external affairs, said in a statement. “[T]hese groups are performing groundbreaking work and building a more inclusive and equitable arts community.”


Amazon, which currently has 3,700 technology and corporate employees in Greater Boston, is planning to expand its footprint, bringing more than 3,000 new tech and corporate jobs to to the area in coming years.

The expansion plans include leasing 1 Boston Wharf Road in the Seaport, a building that will feature two long-anticipated theaters intended for use by the city’s nonprofit performing arts organizations.

In a statement, Acting Mayor Kim Janey thanked Amazon for supporting the city’s arts community, which she said “continues to thrive despite significant challenges created by the pandemic.”

“Boston’s vibrant arts and culture scene is integral to the equitable recovery, reopening, and renewal of our city,” she said. “I’m pleased that such a diverse group of organizations, especially those that engage our young, aspiring artists, will benefit from this funding.”

Other recipients include: Boston Children’s Museum, Artists for Humanity, BAMS Fest, Fort Point Arts Community, Company One Theatre, Brighter Boston (Strand Theatre), Medicine Wheel Productions, Veronica Robles Cultural Center, Boston Children’s Chorus, The Record Co., and the Boston Public Library’s Adams Street branch music program.

Malcolm Gay can be reached at malcolm.gay@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @malcolmgay.