M&T Bank and the Aspen Institute will provide $70k in grants to Baltimore residents who “weave” communities together.

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The Aspen Institute Weave project is distributing grants in Baltimore.

M&T Bank and the Aspen Institute’s Weave: The Social Fabric Project on Wednesday debuted an awards program in Baltimore that aims to celebrate and support leaders building connections between neighbors.

The Weaver Awards is providing $70K in funding through its inaugural program in Baltimore, with a focus on highlighting those who prioritize relationships, and “weave Baltimore’s social fabric,” per a news release.

Ten people or groups will be awarded $7,000 for projects that create connection and relationships in city neighborhoods. Applications opened Wednesday, and will close on July 2.

The awards are designed for people who may not have an organization or any experience getting grants, and are being awarded to efforts working with a budget under $250K.

Applicants answer just a few questions about themselves, their communities, and their project, then invite three recommendations from neighbors. Winners will have regular check-ins with the Weave Project, but no formal reports or budgets to submit.

“Some of the most trusted people getting things done in their communities may not be running nonprofits,” said Frederick Riley, executive director of the Weave project, in a statement. “They just see needs and inspire neighbors to look out for each other. Those are the Weavers we want to honor.”

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