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MySocialGoodNews is dedicated to sharing news about
social entrepreneurship, impact investing, philanthropy
and corporate social responsibility.

Crowdfunding for Social Good

Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Philanthropy

This category includes stories about philanthropy, typically covering the generosity of individuals, families, groups of individuals and foundations (nonprofits primarily in the business of funding other nonprofits.

“Esli” of Arizona State University 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 “Esli” of Arizona State University:

“I am fair-skinned, speak fluent English without an accent, and came to the U.S. when I was just two years old from Mexico. As a result, a lot of people do not realize that I am an immigrant. My fairer skin grants me an immunity of sorts from the challenges and racial discrimination so many other immigrants face. This gives me a chance to see the world through different pairs of eyes.

But, even with this so-called advantage, growing up undocumented was far from easy. When I was 16 years old, many of my peers began to excitedly discuss the prospect of driving a car for the first time. When I asked my father when he thought I should start studying for my Learner’s Permit exam, he grew serious and explained to me, for the first time, that I am undocumented.

When I first found out, it didn’t change much in my life. But as I began to apply for college, it changed everything. When I started to look into how I might pay for my college education – as college was always a dream – my immigration status moved from a seemingly insignificant detail to a consuming, serious, and scary fact that could severely limit my future.

During my senior year of high school, and throughout the summer leading up to my freshman year of college, I spent this time resisting and resenting the fact that I might have had to go to community college. This is not to say that community college is not an amazing opportunity for so many, or that I would not have been grateful. It just had always been a personal goal and dream of mine to attend a four-year university, specifically Arizona State University. I was not ready to give up on this dream before it started.

During this scary period of realization, I was fortunate to have a strong support system in my family as well as in my high school calculus teacher, who played a significant role in helping me get into college. No one – outside of my family – had taken as much interest in my future as did this teacher.

TheDream.US made it so I did not have to give up on my dreams. Now I am proud to say that I am the first high school graduate in my family and I am on track to be the first college graduate. Right now, I am focusing only on school, which feels like an absolute dream come true to me. Even in the face of hate and adversity in a turbulent time for undocumented kids in this country, I am unashamed of who I am and hopeful for the future that lies ahead.

As a student at Arizona State University, I am pursuing a degree in environmental engineering. It is my dream to build systems that bring fresh and clean water to people living in impoverished and otherwise unfavorable conditions. Fighting inequality of all kinds is important to me, and I believe my degree will translate well to addressing the global population’s unequal access to water, a major public health crisis of today.

In pursuing this specific and career-oriented goal, I am also mindful and interested in setting an example to other undocumented students. I want to provide a reminder that the sacrifices so many of our parents made were not in vain. These sacrifices were not mistakes; these sacrifices gave so many of us the world. I want to help change the stereotypes formed against our immigrant communities, especially undocumented communities. This will require some tough love to inspire others to work hard and break through barriers and challenges associated with being undocumented in this country.

Ultimately, I think progress among our community is best achieved by being a living example of what undocumented kids are capable of, if we are given the opportunity.”

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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LARKR Mental Health App Donating $50,000 of Free Therapy Sessions for Students Affected by Parkland Shooting

Press Release – Parkland, FL – February 15, 2018 – In the wake of yesterday’s tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, mental health app LARKR is donating up to $50,000 in free therapy sessions over the next week for students involved or impacted by the shooting. LARKR co-founders Shawn and Christianne Kernes are former residents of Parkland, who were active in the community and whose daughter previously attended the school.

Since the tragedy also impacts family, friends, school children, teachers and others all across the country, LARKR is also offering subsidized, deeply discounted sessions for anyone nationwide affected by the tragedy.

“It’s utterly terrifying when this kind of horror comes to a place so close to your heart. This isn’t just close to home, this is home,” said Shawn Kernes. “Chris and I want to do all that we can to help those in need at this incredibly trying time, which is why we are offering free therapy for students and personally subsidizing sessions on LARKR for anyone affected by these awful events.”

The LARKR app is free to download on the Apple App Store. Students can use the code “MSDStrong” for free sessions over the coming week, while others can use the code “douglas” for $40 off an $85, 50-minute session with a licensed therapist on the platform. The service is available to anyone over the age of 13 and multi-user sessions are available if couples or parents and children want to participate together.

In addition to the discounted therapy sessions, LARKR also offers a number of free self-care and mental wellness tools, including guided meditations.

LARKR’s network does have a limited capacity at this time, so the company is encouraging any licensed therapists in Florida or anywhere across the country who are interested in helping others through this difficult time, to sign up for the platform today in order to assist with these efforts.

“I’m proud to be a therapist and LARKR Co-Founder, but am a Douglas mom first and foremost,” said Chris Kernes. “Our hearts go out to everyone affected, and we want the community to know that we are here for them and will do whatever we can to ensure that everyone gets the help they need.”

Parkland, which consistently ranks as one of most affluent and safest cities in Florida and is renowned for its A-rated schools, was home yesterday to one of the deadliest mass shootings in modern times, with 17 people killed at the city’s high school.

About LARKR

LARKR is a groundbreaking new start-up poised to revolutionize mental health care in America by eliminating the barriers that keep approximately 60% of Americans from receiving the help they need. LARKR provides on-demand talk therapy with licensed practitioners through an easy-to-use mobile video platform, widening the reach of mental health care. Through LARKR, patients can arrange multi-user conferences to accommodate group therapy sessions. Additional mindfulness and self-care features of the app include guided meditations – Therapy Corner, a mood tracker – My Story, and a daily good deed challenge – Be The Change. For more information, visit www.larkr.com.


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USITT Selects 11 Rising Theatre Artists for 2018 Young Designers, Managers & Technicians Awards

Press Release – SYRACUSE, NY (February 19, 2018) Eleven young technical theatre artists will receive Young Designers, Managers & Technicians (YDMT) Awards at USITT’s 58th Annual Conference & Stage Expo, March 15, 2018, at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The YDMT Awards bring recognition and support to early career designers, managers, and technicians, through generous funding from industry sponsors.

YDMT winners receive free Conference registration to the four-day USITT Annual Conference & Stage Expo, March 14-17, plus cash prizes and an impressive addition to their resumes. Listed below are the winners.

Zelma H. Weisfeld Costume Design & Technology Award

Courtney Foxworthy – Indiana University

The Barbara Matera Award in Costume Making, sponsored by Judy Adamson

Erin Torkelson – University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The USITT Make-up Design Award sponsored by Kryolan Professional Make-up

Destinee Steele – University of North Carolina School of the Arts

USITT W. Oren Parker Undergraduate Scene Design Award

Theron Wineinger – University of Cincinnati – College-Conservatory of Music

USITT Scene Design Award sponsored by Rose Brand

Matthew Hamel – University of Cincinnati – College-Conservatory of Music

KM Fabrics, Inc. Technical Production Award

Matt Davis – Yale School of Drama

Bernhard R. Works, Frederick A. Buerki Scenic Technology Award

Steph Waaser – Yale School of Drama

Robert E. Cohen Sound Achievement Award

Jing Zhao – Purdue University

USITT Lighting Design Award sponsored by Barbizon Lighting Company

Tori Mays – University of Arizona

USITT Stage Management Award sponsored by Clear-Com Communications Systems

Jialin He – Carnegie Mellon University

The Master Craftsmanship Award sponsored by Bernhard R. Works

Christina Curtis – University of North Carolina School of the Arts

USITT, the United States Institute for Theatre Technology, is a national non-profit association for the live entertainment production industry. It provides hands-on learning, mentorship, and networking opportunities for emerging and working professionals in the backstage arts. Its Annual Conference and Stage Expo is the only complete production event in North America, featuring over 250 training sessions and 280 exhibitors of the latest tools and resources for creating live entertainment. More information is available at usitt.org.


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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 www.NoNRAMoney.org 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.

website: www.NoNRAMoney.org
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 info@gigisplayhouse.org, 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 https://gigisplayhouse.org/chicagoland-gala. 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 www.GiGisPlayhouse.org.


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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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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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