Principal, Bandwith Projects LLC
Benjamen Douglas is an arts manager working toward racial justice through philanthropy and policy, organizational capacity building, and institutional systems change.
For the past five years, he has been a program officer with the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, where he led the agency’s grantmaking for capacity building and creative placemaking. During that time, Benjamen designed new grant programs and policies, assessed and revised current grant programs, and managed the review, award, and oversight of 400 grants to individuals and organizations totaling approximately $25M through grant programs for infrastructure, arts and humanities service organizations, international cultural diplomacy, and fellowships and project support for individuals.
While at the Commission on the Arts & Humanities, Benjamen convened and led Arts Capital, an informal network of arts and culture funders in the Washington, DC region. From 2018-2020, he chaired the design and delivery of the Accomplices Leadership Institute, a program of Arts Administrators of Color. Creating the curriculum for this program for white arts leaders interested in dismantling white supremacy in the arts led him to his upcoming doctoral work.
Outside of the work he leads, Benjamen has served on many planning committees, including the 11th Street Bridge Park’s Equitable Development Plan Cultural Advisory Committee, the colloquium, Addressing Funding Inequities for Arts Organizations of Color, and Delta State University’s Year of the Arts planning committee. He has enjoyed being a facilitator and guest lecturer on issues like talent development, racial equity, and funding for the arts for the Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium, Arts Administrators of Color, and arts management programs at American University, and Indiana University.
Over the past 15 years, Benjamen has frequently reviewed applications for grantmakers including the Mississippi Arts Commission and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and has developed grantmaking processes for the Rock River Foundation, SonEdna Foundation, and the NextGen Giving Circle. He was recently honored to be on the panel for “Catalyzing Creativity,” the first-ever grant program offered by Creative Greensboro (NC).
Previously, Benjamen led capacity building initiatives at the Torpedo Factory—the largest collection of working artists studios in the United States. This was informed by his time as a staff of one, leading the formation of the SonEdna Foundation—a Mississippi-based limited life operating foundation that provided support for writers of color through residencies, fellowships, public programs, and support for development of new work. Douglas was founding executive director from 2006-2012, served again as interim executive director in 2013, then managed the wind-down in 2016. These experiences, along with a research fellowship at the Talent Philanthropy Project informed his thesis, People-Powered Performance: Maximizing the Impact of Arts Organizations through Talent Investment.
For information about strengths and capabilities, visit the Services page.
Depending upon the nature of your project, Benjamen may collaborate with, or refer you to some of the respected, values-aligned independent consultants in his network, such as: