This week, the Board of Directors of the Fresno Regional Foundation (FRF) approved $130,000 in grants to support Arts and Culture organizations serving the San Joaquin Valley. Recognizing our diverse population, the Foundation has placed an emphasis in supporting engagement in a broad spectrum of arts experiences, including theatre, spoken word poetry, Mexican folklore dancing, Hmong language and a full-immersion youth orchestra performance at the Saroyan Theatre.
“Our grantees celebrate the rich, diverse experiences and art forms of many cultures,” said Dan DeSantis, CEO of the Fresno Regional Foundation. “A vibrant arts environment is critical not only to communicate the human experience, but to attract and support a thriving economy.”
The nine organizations and the funded activities are below.
- Valley PBS: $50,000 for “ValleyPBS by You,” an online and on-air hub of community-created arts and culture activities from throughout the San Joaquin Valley.
- Youth Orchestras of Fresno: $15,000 for its Youth Arts Extravaganza, a full immersion, participatory youth orchestra performance at the Saroyan Theatre.
- Sunnyside High School Video Academy: $14,999 for the production of a feature film: “The Underclassmen.”
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Fresno County: $9,972 for “Be Creative—Be Great!” an eight-week summer arts camp offered at three clubs in Fresno.
- Focus Forward: $9,494 to expand its existing arts and culture program for incarcerated youth at the Juvenile Justice Campus in Fresno to include spoken-word poetry, photography, and additional arts workshops.
- Madera Coalition for Community Justice: $9,000 to create a 75-minute movie of intergenerational immigrant stories of Madera residents.
- StageWorks Fresno: $8,500 for “Story to Stage,” an integrated learning plan to foster reading and theatrical literacy for K-3 students in the Lowell, Tower District and Fresno High neighborhoods.
- Kings Regional Traditional Folk Arts: $8,000 for ongoing student mariachi and Mexican folklore dance for children and adults in Kings County.
- Stone Soup Fresno: $5,000 for “The Hmong Culture and Literacy Academy,” a summer enrichment program for youth that promotes access, engagement and learning of traditional Hmong cultural arts.
The Foundation’s grant making work is driven by the needs of Central Valley residents as well as guidance from philanthropists who contribute to the Foundation. FRF provides a fair and transparent competitive grant application process, financial evaluation of community benefit organizations, site visits and reporting on grant effectiveness.
About the Fresno Regional Foundation
Founded in 1966, FRF’s mission is to improve the quality of life in the San Joaquin Valley through philanthropy. It serves Fresno, Madera, Merced, Mariposa, Tulare and Kings counties.
FRF is the trusted link between donors and organizations investing in permanent, high-impact solutions for the San Joaquin Valley. The Foundation holds assets of nearly $55 million and awarded $3.5 million in grants in 2011.
For more information about the Fresno Regional Foundation, please visit www.fresnoregfoundation.org or call 559-226-5600.