The Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation announced July 13 that it has awarded $124,000 in grants to Baltimore-area art, culture, science and history organizations that promote education through innovative school partnerships and nontraditional teaching.

“The Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation is proud to make our city stronger by supporting the organizations that make Baltimore a thriving cultural center,” said Andy Bertamini, greater Baltimore regional president for Wachovia, a Wells Fargo company. “Because of our strong commitment to education, we’re particularly excited to support programs that expand access to arts and culture through educational programs. Our goal in creating the Cultural Excellence Grants program was to celebrate the creativity of our cultural partners and express our belief that, together, we can open young minds to experiences, talents and dreams they may not otherwise develop. From the commitment and creativity exemplified by the grantees named today, it’s clear that we have done just that.”

In an event at the Center Club Tuesday, Bertamini presented 10 area non-profits with grants for $10,000. The organizations were selected out of 34 applicants after a thorough assessment by a foundation review committee.

Applications were accepted from any 501(c) 3 nonprofit art, history or science organization delivering education programs in Baltimore City and Baltimore, Charles, Carroll, Anne Arundel, Frederick, Howard, and Harford counties.

The 10 grant recipients are: American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore Children’s Museum, Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore Museum of Industry, Center Stage Associates, Children’s Playhouse of Maryland, Columbia Center for Theatrical Arts, Maryland Historical Society, Maryland Institute College of Art and Young Audiences of Maryland.

The 24 non-profits that applied but were not selected for Cultural Excellence grants were awarded $1,000 grants.

“As we reviewed the applicants, it became clear that all of the organizations had tremendous passion and commitment to bringing the arts alive in Baltimore,” said Bertamini. “As a result, we decided that we wanted to support all of the applicants financially at some level to help them continue their important work.”

Wachovia and Wells Fargo officials said they are committed to supporting arts and culture programs in the Baltimore community. Wachovia is sponsoring the Main Stage at 2010 Artscape, the largest free arts and music festival in the country, which will take place in Baltimore July 16 – 18.