Alumni Newsroom

Uplifting the Community

JPMorgan Chase’s legacy of supporting African American arts and culture.

Unique NY

Chemical Bank established its Urban Lending Group in 1971 to extend loans to Black entrepreneurs. Between 1971 and 1976, Chemical’s Urban Lending Group invested more than $19 million in economic development in diverse communities.

Unique NY, a monthly entertainment and lifestyle magazine for the Black community owned by Vy Higgensen, was one of the businesses that utilized the services of the Urban Lending Group. Higgensen had launched the magazine in 1974 with her own money, gearing it toward a growing class of wealthy Black New Yorkers. In 1977, Chemical Bank arranged financing to increase circulation of the magazine, which provided readers with information about cultural activities and entertainment in New York City. The bank even rented office space above a branch to Higgensen to formalize the magazine’s operations.

The National Black Network

In 1973, Manufacturers Hanover Trust Company (MHT) provided $200,000 in financing for the National Black Network (NBN), the first Black-owned and Black-operated radio network. NBN launched in July 1973, delivering hourly five-minute news segments, as well as public affairs programs, sportscasts and live coverage through affiliate stations. In the 1990s, NBN merged with its main competitor, Sheridan Broadcasting Network (previously known as the Mutual Black Network), to form American Urban Radio Networks.

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Apollo Theater in Harlem

MHT provided the Apollo Theater with financial assistance at a critical moment in the theater’s history, contributing $6 million of a $10 million package in 1981 to reopen the Apollo Theater after a several-year closure. Four years later, the firm sponsored the theater’s “Amateur Night Grand Reopening.” Decades later, in 2006, JPMorgan Chase was the presenting sponsor of the Apollo Legends concert as part of a four-year grant to renovate the theater. In 2010, the firm also sponsored an exhibition called “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing,” in honor of the Apollo Theater’s 75th anniversary.

Kinsey African American Art and History at SoFi Stadium

In March 2022, JPMorgan Chase announced its sponsorship of the Kinsey African American Art and History exhibit at the new SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, California. The exhibition focuses on the lives and accomplishments of African Americans from the 16th century through the years of slavery and emancipation, the Civil Rights Movement, to modern day. It is one of the largest and most comprehensive African American art and history collections and one of the first on display at a football stadium.

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