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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Monthly Archives: February 2018

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#NoNRAMoney Campaign Aims to Make Gun Group’s Endorsement “RadioActive”

“If you take NRA money you don’t get our vote”

A national campaign demanding that political candidates reject funding from the National Rifle Association (NRA) was launched today, days after the most recent mass shooting on a school campus in Parkland, Florida that took the lives of 17 children and adults.

Called #NoNRAMoney the campaign has one purpose: To break the stranglehold the NRA has on politicians that has shut down rational gun policy for decades.

The website features two petitions: One allowing candidates to publicly reject NRA support, the other for voters who vow to oppose any candidate who takes NRA money.

“We are putting candidates on notice: If you take a penny of NRA money you don’t get our votes. You can serve the gun lobby and the NRA or you can serve the people but you can’t do both,” said Nadine Smith, one of the organizers of the effort.

Smith is the Executive Director of Equality Florida the Florida-based group that led an international response to the massacre at Pulse NightClub in Orlando that left 49 people dead and hundreds wounded. The group raised over $9 Million and worked with victims groups to ensure all resources went to the survivors and families of those murdered.

“Once again, we listened in shock as politicians sent ‘thoughts and prayers’ and then went right back to giving the NRA anything they asked for instead of taking action to protect the country and get weapons of war out of civilian hands. The NRA believes people being slaughtered is the cost of doing business. We reject that and believe it is time to make accepting the NRA’s support a career-ending mistake for any candidate. The vast majority of American support sensible gun control laws. All you need do is listen to the voices of the children, parents, and people affected by the Parkland shooting, who are speaking directly to their local and state politicians, the Republican majority, and the White House, who offer words but no action.”

The campaign is calling on the public to reach out to elected leaders and candidate and use the hashtag #NoNRAMoney to remind them that loyalty to the gun lobby will cost them at the ballot box.

The campaign will have a presence on social media as well to give the public the tools to get candidates to make clear where they stand.

Twitter: @NoNRAMoney
Instagram: @noNRAmoney
FB: NoNRAMoney

Survivors of the Parkland Shooting have been calling politicians to task for sending empty words of condolence while simultaneously blocking any legislative action that would have kept an AR-15 out of the hands of a dangerous young man.

“How are we allowed to buy guns at the age of 18 or 19? That’s something we shouldn’t be able to do,” shooting survivor Lyliah Skinner told CNN.

In an article entitled My generation won’t stand for this, Parkland shooting survivor Cameron Kasky wrote: “We can’t ignore the issues of gun control that this tragedy raises. And so, I’m asking — no, demanding — we take action now.

Why? Because at the end of the day, the students at my school felt one shared experience –our politicians abandoned us by failing to keep guns out of schools.”

It is time for us to take weapons of war off the streets, guns out of schools and gun lobby money from corrupting our political system.

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GiGi’s Playhouse promises an evening of inspiration at its March 10th Chicagoland Gala, a celebration of GiGi’s growth and the spread of its mission to promote acceptance for all

Twelve retired NFL players, Rob Johnson of CBS Chicago and Eric Ferguson of 101.9 THE MIX are among the special guests at the annual ‘rockin’ party with a rockin’ purpose’ gala

Press Release – CHICAGO: GiGi’s Playhouse will celebrate its tremendous growth over the past year and the spread of its mission to change the way the world sees Down syndrome, at the Chicagoland “i have a voice” Gala on Saturday, March 10, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont. Nancy Gianni, founder and “Chief Belief Officer” of GiGi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Achievement Centers, promises an evening of inspiration and elegance, “with a rockin’ edge.”

“This is not your grandma’s gala. It’s a high-energy, star-studded, visually stunning evening,” says Nancy Gianni, GiGi’s Playhouse founder and president. “There has been so much excitement building for the 2018 Gala that we expect to top last year’s attendance of more than 850 supporters.”

GiGi’s Playhouse, which has the only international network of Down syndrome achievement centers, changes lives through free therapeutic, educational and career training programs that serve 80,000 individuals of all ages. With more than 36 locations throughout the United States and in Mexico, and many more to come, GiGi’s makes a lifetime commitment to support and empower families from diagnosis to adulthood.

GiGi’s is thrilled that football players from the Chicago chapter of the NFL Former Players Association will once again attend the Gala. The exciting lineup includes Desmond Clark, Wendell Davis, Jerry Fontenot, Bruce Herron and Kurt Becker (’85 Super Bowl Champion), all formerly of the Chicago Bears, plus retired players from several other NFL teams. “Our boys are deeply honored that they will be present once again this year to lend their support and celebrity for such an amazing organization that does immeasurable good all over the country,” says Tom Serpento, executive director of the Chicago chapter of the NFL Former Players Association.

Other famous faces at the GiGi’s Gala include CBS 2 Chicago Anchor Rob Johnson, who returns as emcee, and Eric Ferguson, host of Eric in the Morning on 101.9 THE MIX.

The black-tie “I have a voice” Gala also features raffles, silent and live auctions, dinner, open bar and dancing to the Chicago-area’s ultimate party band, 7th heaven, which makes for a fun party with enthusiastic fans and a packed dance floor.

This year’s Gala will celebrate the encouraging voices and special bonds of siblings and the empowering role they play in each other’s lives. GiGi’s is encouraging Gala participants to send their sibling stories to, so they can possibly be shared during the event.

“There’s an urgent need to improve the lives of those with Down syndrome and those touched by it, and the “i have a voice” Gala helps us continue to provide free opportunities and meet that need,” Gianni says. “It’s also a rockin’ party that doesn’t quit! The evening is an awesome mix of elegance, inspiration, motivation and fun.”

The Chicagoland “i have a voice” Gala begins at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception. Gala tickets are available now for $200 per person or $2,000 for a table of 10. The price increases to $250 per ticket after Feb. 25. For tickets and information, go to Supporters are encouraged to buy their tickets now, to ensure they’ll have an opportunity to join GiGi Gianni and many friends on the dance floor.

More about GiGi’s Playhouse

GiGi’s Playhouse was founded by Nancy Gianni in 2003, after her daughter, GiGi, was diagnosed with Down syndrome. GiGi’s Playhouse meets the demand for programs that target the underserved population of more than 450,000 Americans living with Down syndrome. Fourteen new centers are slated to open in 2018, and there are hundreds of inquiries to open more worldwide. GiGi’s Playhouse is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that survives completely on charitable donations. Funds raised from the 2018 Gala will enrich children and adults with Down syndrome through vital programs such as one-on-one literacy and math tutoring, speech therapy, fitness classes, career training and more. GiGi’s Playhouse also works to break down barriers and advance its vision of acceptance for all, through the #GenerationG campaign: Be Accepting. Be Generous. Be Kind. For more information, visit

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Wilf Family Foundation Pledges $5M to Address Israel’s Housing Shortage for Low-Income Seniors

The Wilf Family Foundation seeks to address one of Israel’s most pressing social challenges with $5m grant to The Jewish Agency’s Senior Affordable Housing Initiative

Press Release – New York, NY, February 15, 2018 — The Wilf Family Foundation has granted $5 million to The Jewish Agency for Israel’s Senior Affordable Housing Initiative, in a philanthropic effort that will address one of Israel’s most acute social challenges. The New Jersey-based Foundation joins a host of other major donors that have commited in excess of $27 million to the initiative to date.

The severe shortage of affordable and subsidized housing for seniors has left many having to find shelter in storage facilities or end up on the street. Currently, there is a waiting list of 27,000 low-income Israeli seniors—half of them Holocaust survivors—for subsidized housing. The Jewish Agency’s Senior Affordable Housing Initiative is a program that is uniquely equipped to address this crisis. Approximately 3,000 affordable housing units will be built on 17 sites in nine cities across Israel.

The Senior Affordable Housing Initiative offers a historic opportunity for philanthropic capital investment in Israel and is particularly attractive for those wishing to leave a lasting legacy in the Jewish State. The Israeli government has guaranteed to fund half of the project’s construction costs and will also subsidize 85 percent of the market rate of tenants’ rent for the next 20 years. Amigour, which serves as the Jewish Agency’s developer and manager of the project, is Israel’s leading sheltered housing company, operating 6,000 units in 57 buildings around the country.

“We are gratified that The Wilf Family Foundation is granting this generous and crucial support to assist some of Israel’s most vulnerable citizens,” said Joshua Fogelson, CEO of Jewish Agency International Development. “In addition to providing a lifeline for an at-risk population sector, increased access to affordable housing for seniors will contribute to the creation of a more equitable, inclusive and vibrant Israeli society as a whole.”

The Initiative’s first site, located on Tel Aviv’s Derech Hashalom Street, is currently under construction. In recognition of the extraordinary commitment that Joseph Wilf z”l made to support the needs of Holocaust survivors, and the Wilf Family Foundation’s generous gift, The Jewish Agency this fall will name and dedicate the building “The Joseph Wilf Building.” Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency, Natan Sharansky, said “During the time I spent with Joseph, I came to know him as a proud Jew, a passionate Zionist and a generous supporter of the State of Israel. I can think of nothing more suitable than this project to memorialize his name.”

The Wilf Family Foundation is joining other major donors—including the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation; the Claims Conference; the Belz Foundation; the Coopersmith Charitable Trust; the Iranian Jewish Federation; and Keren Hayesod donors from South America, Sweden and Holland—in supporting this Initiative.

“Affordable housing for seniors is not only a crucial element in any community’s infrastructure, but also a true embodiment of the Jewish value of tikkun olam—repairing the world. In this context, we are honored to support The Jewish Agency’s Senior Affordable Housing Initiative, a project that puts our values into action. We are especially pleased that priority will be given to elderly Holocaust survivors – a very fitting tribute to our father who dedicated so much of his time and resources to improving their lives and preserving their legacy” said Mark Wilf of the Wilf Family Foundation.

About The Jewish Agency for Israel

Since 1929, The Jewish Agency for Israel has been working to secure a vibrant Jewish future. It was instrumental in founding and building the State of Israel and continues to serve as the main link between the Jewish state and Jewish communities everywhere. This global partnership has enabled it to address the Jewish People’s greatest challenges in every generation. Today, The Jewish Agency connects the global Jewish family, bringing Jews to Israel, and Israel to Jews, by providing meaningful Israel engagement and facilitating Aliyah. It also strives to build a better society in Israel – and beyond – energizing young Israelis and their worldwide peers to rediscover a collective sense of Jewish purpose. The Jewish Agency continues to be the Jewish world’s first responder, prepared to address emergencies in Israel, and to rescue Jews from countries where they are at risk.

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“Yossy” of Rutgers University-Newark is TheDream.US “DREAMer of the Day”

Press Release – Washington, DC – TheDream.US, the nation’s largest college access and success program for undocumented immigrant youth, has launched a “DREAMer of the Day” feature – a daily profile of a TheDream.US-affiliated Scholar whose story offers a powerful example why Congress passing legislation resolving the crisis facing DREAMers and TPS holders will be good for America.

Today’s DREAMer of the Day is “Yossy” of Rutgers University-Newark:

“When me and my parents first came to America from Peru, I saw my parents struggle financially. I remember their frustration, but more evident was their determination, and their insistence on making my childhood great no matter how many obstacles they had to face.

One of our first Christmases here, I remember that they only had about $15 to spend on my gift. Although they wanted to get me a big gift, the money was just not there. Instead, they went to the dollar store and bought as many one-dollar gifts as they could afford, wrapped them, and made my Christmas morning incredibly special since I had about 10 presents to open!

After being naïve about immigration issues throughout my childhood, I found out that I was undocumented in middle school. My friends would joke about “la migra,” but I did not know what they were referring to. For the most part, though, I did not face the turmoil of being undocumented until my junior year of high school. I could not apply to certain programs and scholarships simply because of my status. Like my parents when they arrived in the United States, I was frustrated, but my frustration was countered with determination and I determined to prove to others that I am more than a legal status.

Thanks to DACA and TheDream.US, I could afford attending Rutgers-Newark, where I am studying accounting. I am beyond thankful for my experiences there and enjoy the diversity of the campus. I am currently the vice-president of the Honors College Student Council, a fellow of America Needs You-NJ, and serve as treasurer of RUDreamers, a campus club for undocumented students and allies. This summer, I interned at one of the Big 4 accounting firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and was extended a return offer as a tax intern this coming summer! I have also started a small mentoring program for undocumented students in my hometown to help mobilize them on their journey to college.

I want other DREAMers to know that they are not defined by their status, and should not feel held back because of it. They can excel and change the world if they set their minds to it. Also, never forget where you came from, instead, pay it forward to others just as people have helped you.

Personally, I want to continue to mentor younger, first-generation college students on their journeys to success and encourage them to not give up. Professionally, I would love to work as a tax accountant or an auditor at a Big 4 firm after graduation. Without DACA and TheDream.US, these goals would have been mere fantasies but with them, my dreams have taken flight.”

TheDream.US, which has provided more than 3,000 scholarships to students with DACA and TPS at more than 75 partner colleges in 15 states and Washington, DC, believes that all young people, regardless of where they were born, should have the opportunity to fulfill their potential, gain an education, and fully participate in the country that they call home. To date, the organization has committed more than $103 million in scholarship money for DREAMers.

  • Read through a story bank of TheDream.US Scholars here
  • Find out more about TheDream.US here

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The Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center Appoints New Artistic Director Bill Rauch

Press Release – February 16, 2018 – NY New York – The Board of Directors for The Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center (The Perelman Center) today announced the appointment of Bill Rauch – an acknowledged leader in American theater, as the head of its artistic team, planning for The Perelman’s opening season. Working with the organization’s Board of directors, president and The Perelman team, Rauch joins The Perelman’s leadership following his twelve-year tenure as Artistic Director of The Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF). The Perelman Center will be New York City’s newest state-of-the-art performing arts venue, and is the final component of the original World Trade Center “Master Plan.”

“We are incredibly excited to have such an accomplished leader assume the Artistic Director position for The Perelman Center,” said Maggie Boepple, President and Director of The Perelman Center. “We know that Bill will plan a spectacular first season, building on the remarkable progress that we have made over the past few years.”

“We are excited to welcome Bill as the artistic leader for the Performing Arts Center,” said Ronald Perelman. “His deep experience, creativity, and drive will bring together the diverse array of performances we hope to offer at this extraordinary center for the arts and culture.”

Bill Rauch is credited with helping to elevate OSF’s profile in the national conversation on theater, having led the festival in staging a record number of world premiere works – many of which were written and directed by women and artists of color, and several that later moved on to have success at renowned theaters across the United States. Rauch directed Robert Schenkkan’s Tony Award-winning All the Way on Broadway, having commissioned the work as part of OSF’s 37-play “American Revolutions: The United States History Cycle.” Two other commissions have also transferred to Broadway: Sweat, by Lynn Nottage, which garnered the Pulitzer Prize; and Paula Vogel’s Indecent, winner of two Tony Awards. Rauch also launched “Play on! 36 Playwrights Translate Shakespeare” a commissioning program to engage artists in the creation of modern translations of Shakespeare’s plays.

“From my first meeting with Bill to discuss ‘All The Way,’ I had a gut feeling that we could have a very open and respectful collaboration on the play. That instinct came to fruition. It was a joy to work with him,” said renowned actor Bryan Cranston of his work with Rauch. “He is an insightful director with a great appreciation for an actor’s process. Bill possesses a genuinely passionate devotion to the art of storytelling. More importantly, he is a man who embraces a society’s varied cultures, languages, preferences, and differences, and sees it all for what it is: A necessary and positive contribution to the human experience. I can’t wait to see the burst of creativity that will be born from this hallowed ground.”

Prior to his tenure at OSF, Rauch co-founded Cornerstone Theater Company, where he directed more than 40 productions, most in collaboration with diverse rural and urban communities across the United States, and served as its artistic director from 1986 to 2006. He has directed a number of world premieres, including Naomi Wallace’s Night is a Room at New York’s Signature Theatre; Dan O’Brien’s The Body of an American at Portland Center Stage (which, along with Robert Schenkkan’s All the Way, was co-winner of the inaugural Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History); Sarah Ruhl’s The Clean House at Yale Repertory Theatre and later at Lincoln Center Theater. Work elsewhere includes productions at South Coast Repertory, Guthrie Theater, American Repertory Theater, Berkley Repertory Theater, Arena Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse, and En Garde Arts.

“I’m humbled and honored by this tremendous opportunity to be part of fostering a place for transformative art to take place and cultivating a community gathering space at a site that has such powerful emotional resonance for New York City, our country and the world,” said Rauch. “I am looking forward to working with the incredible leaders on The Perelman Center’s Board of Directors and executive team to bring this cutting edge performing arts facility to downtown Manhattan, modeling hope by making art that connects us across all types of communities.”

Renowned director, choreographer, and Perelman Center board member Susan Stroman notes, “Bill is a leader with a clear and focused artistic vision, which has been evident in the work that he’s done throughout his career. He understands the significance of this position, and because of incredible skill at producing dynamic and diverse programming, we know that he is up to the challenge. We’re just as excited as he is to have him join us at The Perelman.”

About The Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center (The Perelman Center)

The Ronald O. Perelman Performing Arts Center will be a global hub for the creation and exchange of art, ideas, and culture that will present outstanding theater, dance, music, and film from the United States and around the world in a new, state-of-the-art venue. Conceived as part of Daniel Libeskind’s master plan for the rebuilt 16-acre World Trade Center site, The Perelman Center will produce and premiere works by emerging and renowned artists in the U.S., and stage collaborations with artists, companies, and institutions from around the globe. The Perelman Center will also be home to the Tribeca Film Festival during its annual run in New York City. Through its innovative technology features, The Perelman Center will be the most connected theater in New York, and will serve as an important cultural center for the renewed Lower Manhattan community and beyond to enjoy, day and night. For additional information, please visit:

About Bill Rauch

Bill Rauch became OSF’s fifth artistic director in 2007, after five seasons at the Festival as a guest director. In a total of 16 seasons there, he directed seven world premieres — Off the Rails, Roe, Fingersmith, The Great Society, All the Way, Equivocation and By the Waters of Babylon — and 17 other plays. All the Way moved to the Neil Simon Theatre in New York, where it won the Tony Award for Best Play and also earned Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award nominations for directing.

Bill has served as an associate artist at Yale Repertory Theatre and South Coast Repertory and as a board member for Theatre Communications Group (TCG), and was Claire Trevor Professor of Drama at University of California, Irvine. He was recently awarded the Ivy Bethune Award from Actors’ Equity Association to honor his commitment to diversity in casting and producing, and in 2015 served as Visiting Fellow at the Ford Foundation. In addition, he received the Zelda Fichandler Award in 2012, and won TCG’s Visionary Leadership Award in 2010 and the Margo Jones Award in 2009. Other honors include a United States Artists Prudential Fellow; Los Angeles Weekly, Garland, Connecticut Critics Circle, Drama-Logue and Helen Hayes awards for direction; Emmy and Ovation nominations and an inaugural “Leadership for a Changing World” award.

Bill graduated from Harvard College.

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Integrating Arts And Culture Into Community: Lessons From Kresge’s Journey

Foundation launches a series of white papers to help grantmakers, practitioners find Creative Placemaking successes

Press Release – Lessons from The Kresge Foundation’s journey to Creative Placemaking – the integration of arts, culture and resident-engaged design into community development and planning – are highlighted a series of white papers launched recently by foundation’s Arts & Culture Program.

The papers are geared toward helping grantmakers and Creative Placemaking practitioners more successfully integrate arts and culture into community development.

Kresge’s Arts & Culture Program, entering its seventh year of funding Creative Placemaking activities in urban, low-income neighborhoods, has partnered with allies from different fields and sectors to author five papers, sharing learnings and observations from the field.

The goal is to illuminate the foundation’s approach to grantmaking, share lessons learned, identify challenges and opportunities encountered, and encourage conversations among peer grantmakers and Creative Placemaking practitioners.

The Kresge Foundation’s unique niche in the Creative Placemaking field is its commitment to influence community development-related systems and practices that expand opportunities for residents in America’s disinvested urban communities.

The first paper – The Kresge Foundation Arts & Culture Program: The First Decade, traces the evolution of the program – from decades of providing capital challenge grants, to capitalization and community arts, and finally the current Creative Placemaking strategy.

“This paper illuminates how Kresge arrived at the current Creative Placemaking strategy,” said Regina R. Smith, managing director of the foundation’s Arts & Culture Program. “Through this series, we hope our experiences will help peer funders, community organizations, development professionals and others better navigate their own journeys to impactful, locally-driven integration of arts, culture and design into community development.”

The remaining papers will be published during the course of 2018, addressing:

  • Neighborhood change and tracking progress
  • Equitable outcomes and systemic change
  • Financing Creative Placemaking
  • Arts & culture and local anchor strategies

Additional Creative Placemaking links and resources from partners including ArtPlace America, and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) are available at the Kresge white papers web page.

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The New York Botanical Garden Names Carrie Rebora Barratt As Its Next President and CEO

Barratt Will Officially Take Office on July 1,2018

Press Release – Bronx, NY, February 15, 2018—The Board of Trustees of The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) announced today that it has elected Carrie Rebora Barratt as the institution’s next Chief Executive Officer and The William C. Steere Sr. President, effective July 1,2018. A highly accomplished leader and art scholar, Dr. Barratt will join the Botanical Garden from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she has served since 1984.

Carrie Barratt will succeed Gregory Long, who announced last spring that he would be stepping down as the Botanical Garden’s CEO in June 2018, after a transformational 29-year tenure. Dr. Barratt will become the ninth leader of the Garden. She will also be the first woman to head NYBG—one of the greatest botanical gardens in the world and the largest in any city in the United States, distinguished by the beauty of its diverse landscape and extensive collections and gardens, world leadership in plant research and conservation, as well as by the scope and excellence of its programs.

As Deputy Director for Collections and Administration, Dr. Barratt leads and manages mission-aligned initiatives for 27 departments of the Met, which is the largest and most comprehensive art museum in the Western Hemisphere.

“It is my distinct pleasure to announce the election of Carrie Rebora Barratt as the next President and CEO of NYBG,” said Maureen K. Chilton, Chairman of the Board of The New York Botanical Garden. “After an extensive international search, Carrie’s qualifications in executive leadership and museum management revealed her as uniquely qualified to assume the reins of this globally important museum of plants as it continues its vital mission into the future. I would like to express my sincere appreciation to my colleagues on the search committee of the Board of Trustees and to J.V. Cossaboom, who continues his role as Director of the Garden, for their diligence and dedication during this process, and for their commitment to providing for a smooth transition between administrations.”

Commented Dr. Barratt: “It is a privilege to be joining NYBG, a green urban oasis and living museum that enhances cultural life in New York City while raising global awareness of the  importance of saving and enjoying the plants of the world. I look forward to partnering with my new colleagues in caring for and promoting the Garden’s beautiful collections through vibrant and immersive programs for the broadest possible audience. Together, we will carry forward Gregory Long’s exceptional project to connect gardening to the arts and humanities, starting this summer with the exhibition Georgia O’Keeffe: Visions of Hawaii and the opening of the Edible Academy.”

Carrie Barratt is taking the helm of a 127-year-old institution that over the last 28 years has: completed three seven-year strategic plans; raised $1.1 billion to fund their initiatives, as well as ongoing operations; funded 43 major capital projects, including 15 new gardens and landscape renovations; increased endowment twentyfold; flourished as a scientific research institution and center for education; pioneered an acclaimed exhibitions program that marries gardening and horticulture to the humanities; increased annual visitation to 1.3 million; and delivered a balanced budget every year.

The Botanical Garden’s current CEO and The William C. Steere Sr. President Gregory Long said, “The senior staff and I are all delighted that such a respected New York museum professional will be guiding this magnificent institution into the future. We all believe that NYBG is positioned for a thrilling trajectory and will be making an even greater impact on New York City and the world in years to come.” Mr. Long continued, “I am honored to hand the institution over to Carrie, and I have a tremendous sense of confidence in her ability to lead the charge.”

Dr. Barratt’s ascension to leadership at the Met includes a start as a Research Assistant, advancement to Coordinator of American Wing Documentation, and then to Curator, American Paintings and Sculpture and Manager of The Henry R. Luce Center for the Study of American Art. In her role as Deputy Director for Collections and Administration, she heads a staff of nearly 400 in directly reporting departments that steward the collections—curatorial, conservation and science, libraries, publications, educational programming, digital media, and advanced imaging. During a transformational period in the Met’s history, Dr. Barratt re¬engaged visitors with collections, delivered on a five-year strategy that included architectural feasibility, visitor engagement, global partnerships, growth in conservation and science, and executed artistic vision from ancient to modern culture across the museum, while setting commensurate operational priorities in a multi-layered, multi-stakeholder organization.

Dr. Barratt received her Ph.D. in the History of Art from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and has also had a distinguished teaching career. She has been an instructor at the Institute of Fine Arts Curatorial Studies Program and in Museology and Collections Management with Cooper-Hewitt/Parsons School of Design, a Visiting Associate Professor in Art History with the CUNY Graduate Center, and a Director and Professor of Sotheby’s American Arts Course.

In addition to her professional positions, Carrie Barratt is an Archives of American Art Board Member, serves on the Stewardship Council of the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, and volunteers in the garden at the Park Slope Women’s Shelter. She lives in New York City.

About NYBG

The New York Botanical Garden is an iconic living museum that has served as an oasis in this busy metropolis since its founding in 1891. A National Historic Landmark, this 250-acre site’s verdant landscape supports over one million living plants in extensive collections. Each year more than one million visitors enjoy the Garden not only for its remarkable diversity of tropical, temperate, and desert flora, but also for programming that ranges from renowned exhibitions in the Haupt Conservatory to celebrations on Daffodil Hill.

The Garden is also a major educational institution. Of its 1.3 million visitors last year, nearly 300,000 people—among them Bronx families, schoolchildren, and teachers—learned about plant science, ecology, and healthful eating through NYBG’s hands-on curriculum-based programming. Over 85,000 of those visitors were children from underserved neighboring communities, while more than 3,200 were teachers from New York City’s public school system participating in professional development programs that train them to teach science courses at all grade levels.

NYBG operates one of the world’s largest plant research and conservation program, with nearly 200 staff members—including 80 Ph.D. scientists—working in the Garden’s state-of- the-art molecular labs as well as in the field, where they lead programs in 49 countries.

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Deadline Extended: SDSU’s Sage Project Looking for Community Partner

The new deadline to apply is March 15.

Press Release – SAN DIEGO, Calif. (February 15, 2018) — The deadline to apply for San Diego State University’s Sage Project for the 2018-19 academic year has been extended.The new deadline is March 15, 2018 – giving area communities an additional four weeks to submit their applications.

As part of the collaboration with a local community, students assist with projects that directly address the partner community’s goals and in turn, better the quality of life for area residents.

During the 2016-17 academic year, the Sage Project partnered with the City of Lemon Grove. Students from 32 courses across 12 different disciplines designed and installed an art mural on the city’s community center, assisted in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping of thousands of data points and designed gateway signage, among other projects.

The partnership is available to communities in San Diego, Orange, Riverside and Imperial Counties.

“The community partner benefits form a truly interdisciplinary effort towards developing solutions for the community that are based on best practice, are cost effective, and enhance the quality of life for residents,” said Jessica Barlow, director of SDSU’s Sage Project. They have a broader audience for sharing their ideas, designs and solutions, and they see the stakes are higher because a community is counting on them to help make positive change.”

For more information on becoming a Sage Project partner and details about submitting a partnership proposal, please visit the Sage Project Website.

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More Than 6,000 Veterans, Service Members And Military Families Served By Hope For The Warriors In 2017

Press Release – SPRINGFIELD, Va. (Feb. 15, 2018) – For more than 11 years, Hope For The Warriors® has been dedicated to restoring a sense of self, family and hope for veterans, service members and military families and in 2017 assisted 6,017 warriors. Of those served, 71 percent were veterans, 24 percent were family members/caregivers and five percent active-duty.

Hope For The Warriors assists veterans, service members and military families with a variety of programming including transition services, clinical health and wellness, sports and recreation. During 2017, 10,978 services were provided through these programs.

One of its first programs, A Warrior’s Wish, fulfills a desire for a better quality of life or supports a quest for gratifying endeavors for those who have sustained severe physical and psychological wounds in the line of duty.

In 2017, Hope For the Warriors granted 13 wishes to military members across the United States, valued at $82,890.07. Since the program’s inception, 180 wishes have been granted totaling more than $1 million.

Tennessee-based Army Captain Michael Trost was a 2017 A Warrior’s Wish® recipient of a backhoe to aid in his expanding hops farm. Beyond granting his Wish, Hope For The Warriors took into consideration Trost’s long-term career goals and connected him to a brewing industry mentor through one of its partners. The wish and connections has profoundly impacted him and his business.

“Thanks to Hope For The Warriors, the backhoe I received has further propelled my dream of becoming a commercial hops farmer,” said Trost. “Although I have some limitations, I now live my life by the following motto, ‘It’s not what you don’t have it’s what you do with what you do have.’”

Founded in 2006 aboard Camp Lejeune military base in North Carolina, the national nonprofit has continued to expand its services from coast to coast. Today, Hope For The Warriors has 68 staff members in 15 states and has assisted military members of all branches of service in 50 states.

“Hope For The Warriors began by grassroots efforts by military wives in North Carolina,” said Robin Kelleher, co-founder, president and CEO of Hope For The Warriors. “Today, we are extremely proud of how the organization has grown into a nationwide nonprofit assisting veterans, service members and military families in all 50 states.

“Through all of our growth, the one thing that remains the same is the trust we provide to our clients and donors. Our 4-star Charity Navigator rating over the last seven years demonstrates to our supporters our good governance and financial accountability,” added Kelleher.

For more information on Hope For The Warriors, visit, Facebook or Twitter.

About Hope For The Warriors:

Founded in 2006, Hope For The Warriors is a national nonprofit dedicated to restoring a sense of self, family and hope for post 9/11 veterans, service members and military families. Since its inception, Hope For The Warriors has served more than 19,000 through a variety of support programs focused on transition services, clinical health and wellness, sports and recreation and community development and engagement. The nonprofit’s first program, A Warrior’s Wish, has granted 180 wishes to fulfill a desire for a better quality of life or support a quest for gratifying endeavors. In addition, Run For The Warriors has captured the hearts of more than 23,500 since 2010. For more information, visit, Facebook or Twitter.

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Expert Looks At How Aid Can Be Done Better

A researcher from The University of Manchester has written a provocative book which looks at the truth behind aid and the reality of ‘taking sides’ in aid.

Press Release – In Why We Lie About Aid: Development and the Messy Politics of Change, Pablo Yanguas from the University’s Global Development Institute demonstrates that polarised politics in donor countries has made the aid system highly dysfunctional, mistaking short-term results for long-term transformation. This results in attacks on aid from across the political spectrum, with the right claiming too much is spent on aid, and the left claiming it’s not enough.

He contends the reality is that, at its most effective, aid is about struggle, taking sides, and politics. Yanguas argues that aid effectiveness requires donors to stop talking about levels of spending or vague notions of ‘accountability’ and ‘ownership’, and begin talking instead about empowering beneficiaries in recipient countries and promoting meaningful long-term change.

Drawing on stories from a variety of countries – from the United States to the UK, Liberia to Honduras – Yanguas demonstrates that the effectiveness of aid is influenced by a wide range of factors, like domestic partisan politics, the blind pursuit of a ‘standard’ for foreign aid, or self-interested behaviour by recalcitrant politicians in recipient countries.

Yanguas cites the challenges he saw in post-conflict Liberia, where the United States and other donors had to navigate the reality of a government that could be capable, or clean, but not both at the same time. While aid hawks in Washington D.C. continued their quest to shackle USAID to what Andrew Natsios called the ‘counter-bureaucracy’, practitioners on the ground were forced to reconcile the intrinsic messiness of Liberian politics with the need to demonstrate the short-term impact of every single cent spent.

At the same time, due to the need to focus reporting on measurable results, many stories of US aid helping embattled Liberians reformers pursue transformational change were never captured, undermining the public’s perception of how development actually happens on the ground, and what a catalytic effect aid can have.

‘Incisive case studies, a strong command of recent currents in development studies, and a passionate belief in the need for development aid, despite all its flaws, bolster this probing inquiry into the politics of aid.’ – Tom Carothers, Senior Vice President for Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

‘Foreign aid is not a good investment: risks are generally high, dividends far too uncertain,’ says Yanguas. ‘Aid has been forced to chase quick wins, instead of supporting the establishment of the kinds of sustainable institutions that underlie effective governments, free societies, and fair markets. No wonder many people in donor countries such as the United States that development assistance is a waste of money. At the same time, aid is exactly the right kind of investment – one that citizens of developed countries should be proud to make.’

‘There is a potential for aid to be enormously valuable, despite the myriad ways in which our politicians and our own misperceptions shackle it to ineffective models and practices. This value is evident in the countless development struggles that it supports around the world, the stories of personal sacrifice in search of a greater public good.’

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