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Austin Community Foundation Announces Torch Literary Arts as one of The Black Fund Grant Partners

Brittany Heckard

Jan 30, 2024

The Black Fund’s recognition of Torch Literary Arts as a grant partner allows Torch to continue hosting special events for Black women writers in the Austin community.

AUSTIN, Tex., January 30, 2024 – Torch Literary Arts (Torch) was recently granted a semifinalist grant partner award from Austin Community Foundation’s The Black Fund. Torch is one of five arts, culture, and preservation impact area nonprofits to receive a grant from the fund. The grant will be used to fund Torch’s in-person special events supporting Black women writers in Austin. 

Funding Black-led and serving organizations is one of many critical steps needed to preserve Black culture in Austin,” said Amanda Johnston, founder and executive director of Torch. “Organizations like Torch, and the many others receiving a grant from The Black Fund, exist as safe-havens for Black people looking for their community.”

Institutionally, funding for Black-led and serving organizations is scarce as these organizations are often neglected by larger foundations compared to other nonprofits. According to the Black Nonprofit Fundraising Guide, philanthropic racial bias leads to Black communities being underfunded by $2 billion. The Stanford Social Innovation Review found that Black-led organizations’ revenue is 45% smaller than white-led organizations despite focusing on the same work.

Austin Community Foundation launched The Black Fund in 2022 with the purpose of addressing the systemic racial inequities present in Austin. Over three years, the fund will invest over $1 million dollars to Black-led and Black-serving nonprofit organizations in the Central Texas region. The Black Fund invests in the following impact areas: arts, culture, and preservation; education; health and wellness; power building, organizing, and advocacy; and wealth building.

Austin Community Foundation was established in 1977 with the goal of meeting community needs in Central Texas. To date, the foundation has given over $500 million to over 1300 nonprofits across Central Texas. Their vision of advancing economic mobility is mobilized through their programs like The Black Fund, Hispanic Impact Fund, Women’s Fund, and FundATX.

For more information about Torch Literary Arts, please visit or follow @torchliteraryarts on Instagram.



About Torch Literary Arts

Torch Literary Arts (Torch) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit established with love and intention in 2006 to publish and promote creative writing by Black women. We publish contemporary writing by experienced and emerging writers alike. Torch has featured work by Toi Derricotte, Tayari Jones, Sharon Bridgforth, Crystal Wilkinson, Patricia Smith, Natasha Trethewey, Elizabeth Alexander, and others. Programs include the Wildfire Reading Series, writing workshops, and retreats.

Help Torch continue to publish and promote Black women writers by donating today.

About Austin Community Foundation

Austin Community Foundation was created through the generosity of one woman, Fannie Gray Files Leo. She wanted a way to provide for her favorite charities and upon her death, she earmarked five percent of her estate ($30,000) to create Austin Community Foundation. In 1977, a group of business leaders, led by Fannie Gray’s bank trust officer, officially founded Austin Community Foundation. In creating the foundation, Austin followed the example of hundreds of cities across the country with the goal to meet community needs and inspire local philanthropists to create endowments to generate earnings and distribute grants.


Media Contact Information:

Brittany Heckard

Communications Associate 

(512) 641-9251

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