President Obama highlights a new program to aid local organizations in building and implementing creative placemaking strategies to shape the social, physical, and economic fabric of their communities. (Anchorage, AK--Aug. 31, 2015) Today, President Obama announced that ArtPlace America – a national collaboration among private foundations including the Surdna Foundation, federal agencies, and financial institutions – will invest $18 million in six place-based organizations, including the Anchorage, AK-based Cook Inlet Housing Authority. Each organization will receive $3 million over the next three years through these Community Development Investments (CDI) to incorporate arts and cultural strategies into their core work.
“Arts and culture are too often left out of community planning conversations,” said Jamie Bennett, ArtPlace’s Executive Director. “These six organizations will demonstrate the unique value that artists and arts organizations can bring to the full spectrum of community development priorities, including community resiliency, economic development, housing, open space, public health, and youth opportunity.”
Since 2011, ArtPlace America has invested $67 million in 227 creative placemaking projects in 152 communities of all sizes across 43 states and the District of Columbia. ArtPlace will draw from these projects, as well as its philanthropic, federal, and financial institution partners to support the six CDI participants along their organizational change journey.
Zuni Youth Enrichment Project, Zuni Pueblo, NM
“Our fundamental proposition is that arts and culture must be at the core of every conversation we have about community development in this country,” said Rip Rapson, President and CEO of the Kresge Foundation and chairman of the ArtPlace collaboration. “When this happens the dialogue is richer and more inclusive for the long-term visioning a community needs to remain vital and healthy.”
ArtPlace will work with the national research and action institute PolicyLink to identify, organize, and share the best practices, processes, and insights for any community looking to work in this more comprehensive and inclusive way.
The organizations selected as part of the CDI program represent a diverse range of place-based organizations working across a broad spectrum of community contexts:
Each organization will host a public forum in October to introduce the CDI program to its community. For more information on the organizations, forums, and CDI program, visit www.artplaceamerica.org.
ABOUT ARTPLACE AMERICA:
ArtPlace America (ArtPlace) is a ten-year collaboration of foundations, banks, and federal agencies that exists to position art and culture as a core sector of comprehensive community planning and development in order to help strengthen the social, physical, and economic fabric of communities. Visit www.artplaceamerica.org for more information.
PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing economic and social equity by Lifting Up What Works®. PolicyLink connects the work of people on the ground to the policy changes needed to build an equitable economy—one in which everyone, including low-income people and people of color, can participate and prosper. Visit www.policylink.org for more information.
ABOUT THE SURDNA FOUNDATION
The Surdna Foundation seeks to foster sustainable communities in the United States -- communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures. Learn more at surdna.org and follow us on Twitter
Presidents of Six Foundations Discuss Opportunities for Future Investment. As New Orleans marks the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, major foundations active in the region came together on Friday to share their vision for how philanthropic investment can unlock the city’s potential.
As part of a daylong event hosted by the City of New Orleans, the presidents of six foundations investing in the region held a panel discussion to offer their unique perspective on what’s happened in New Orleans over the past decade, and what still needs to happen for New Orleans to become a more just and resilient city. The panel featured The Rockefeller Foundation and members of the Greater New Orleans Funders Network, including the Ford Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, The Kresge Foundation and the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. In breakout sessions, local and national funders discussed ways New Orleans can adapt to physical and environmental stresses, create prosperity for all residents and promote inclusion, equity and justice.
“Philanthropy has played a major role in moving New Orleans forward since Hurricane Katrina,” said Moira McDonald of the Walton Family Foundation. “We are committed to the region and determined to see New Orleans become stronger, more equitable and more resilient for the long term.”
Together, the foundations that make up the Greater New Orleans Funders Network have invested nearly $570 million since 2005 to support New Orleans’ recovery and growth. They released a paper on Friday that explores the progress and challenges facing New Orleans in a variety of areas where philanthropy plays an important role, including education, economic development, affordable housing, environmental restoration and public health. The paper highlights the significant public, private and philanthropic investment in the city that will provide a unique opportunity for New Orleans to move forward in those areas, and invites other funders to be a part of the city’s transformation.
“This is a pivotal moment for New Orleans,” said Flozell Daniels of the Foundation for Louisiana. “The unprecedented combination of resident leadership, political will, evidence-based plans and dedicated funding is our best opportunity to deliver on equitable outcomes as the major priority in strengthening New Orleans.”
“Philanthropic investment can be the key that unlocks New Orleans’ potential,” said Jerry Maldonado of the Ford Foundation. “We can make New Orleans a model for cities across the country. But we need more funders to be a part of this effort.”
To learn more about New Orleans’ progress since Hurricane Katrina, please visit www.katrina10.org.
About the Greater New Orleans Funders Network
The Greater New Orleans Funders Network is a coalition of local, regional and national grantmakers committed to equity and economic opportunity in the Greater New Orleans region. The network is managed by Grantmakers for Southern Progress, a project of Neighborhood Funders Group. Members of the Greater New Orleans Funders Network include: Baptist Community Ministries; blue moon fund; Ford Foundation; Foundation for Louisiana; Greater New Orleans Foundation; JPMorgan Chase & Co; Kresge Foundation; Surdna Foundation; Walton Family Foundation; and W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
The New York-based Surdna Foundation's mission is all about sustainable communities. And it defines that concept broadly, looking beyond environmental issues to include the economy and the arts.
We've written recently about Surdna's environmental funding and also what it's doing to make local economies work for more people. Here, we dig into what the foundation is up to with its millions in annual arts grantmaking.
Read more in Inside Philanthropy
The National Center for Family Philanthropy features a retrospective blog by grantmaker Alyson Wise reflecting on the year she spent working with Andrus family members participating in the Board Executives in Training Program (BETS). In the blog, part of the NCFP’s “Voices from the Field” series, Wise discusses how BETS places the principles of social justice at the center of the program. And how this philosophy challenged participants to “live in their learning.”
If you want to see what income inequality looks like, get on the bus in any American city and look out the window. The geography of wealth looks different everywhere, but the patterns are hard to miss. At some point along the ride, you will notice trees becoming scarce and empty buildings multiplying. You will stop seeing grocery stores and start wondering when gas stations started selling beer and blunt wrappers. You will wonder when all the white people got off the bus.
Read more about Next City’s Equitable Cities Fellows.
The Surdna Foundation is one of the oldest and largest family foundations in the United States. In addition to the Surdna Foundation, the Andrus family founded four other charitable institutions. Early on, the family established a tradition of board service that enabled trustees appointed to the Surdna board to sit on the boards of the family’s other charitable institutions. That system worked well enough when the philanthropies were smaller and less complex. But as the programs expanded, so did the demands on the trustees.
More from Family Giving News
The Surdna Foundation announced today that Kellie Terry, an experienced environmental justice organizer whose work has focused on the built environment and infrastructure’s impact on low-wealth communities and communities of color, has been appointed Program Officer for the Sustainable Environments program. She will begin on September 8, 2015.
Kellie Terry is the executive director of The Point, a nonprofit organization dedicated to environmental justice, youth development and the cultural and economic revitalization of the Hunts Point section of New York City’s South Bronx. She joined the organization in 2002 and was named executive director in 2010. Under her leadership, The Point, a current Surdna Foundation grantee partner, has become one of New York City’s leading community development organizations and a genuine voice for social and environmental change in the Hunts Point community of the South Bronx.
Phillip Henderson, Surdna's President, commenting on the hiring of Kellie Terry, said, "We are thrilled Kellie is joining the Surdna Foundation. As a Surdna grantee, The Point has been a valuable partner. She’s a passionate and skilled advocate who has dedicated her career to engaging with the community and promoting justice and sustainable change within the environmental movement. We look forward to Kellie’s arrival and to continuing our relationship with The Point.”
Kellie has led a number of important organizing efforts in the South Bronx, including a campaign to prevent the construction of a waste transfer station that would have resulted in increased pollution, commercial truck traffic, and other negative impacts to the communities of color who reside in a Congressional district with one of the nation’s highest poverty rates.
Helen Chin, Director of Surdna’s Sustainable Environments program said, “Kellie is respected leader whose work has been so successful in large part because she listens to and partners with the community. We look forward to working together toward fostering more just and sustainable communities.”
Kellie joins the Sustainable Environments program which makes grants around four interconnected elements of infrastructure: transportation networks and equitable development patterns; urban water management; energy efficiency in the built environment; and regional food supply. The Program focuses on promoting equity and social justice so that benefits from improvements to our country’s low-performing infrastructure positively impact low-wealth, and communities of color.
Kellie serves as Chair of the New York City Environmental Justice Alliance; board member of the Norcross Foundation; board member and former Chair of the Bronx River Alliance. She received her undergraduate degree from the College of the Holy Cross; is a candidate for a Master’s degree in Regional and Urban Planning from Pratt Institute; and has completed the Executive Leadership Development program at Columbia University’s Institute for Non-Profit Management.
About the Surdna Foundation
The Surdna Foundation aims to foster sustainable communities in the United States - communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by sustainable environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures. The Foundation seeks to dismantle the structural barriers that limit opportunity for many, helping to create communities that are prosperous, culturally enriching, and sustainable.
The Andrus Family Fund (AFF) is seeking a Program Officer to join its team. The Program Officer will be part of a three-person team led by the Executive Director. This position reports directly to the Executive Director and has joint supervisory responsibilities of the Senior Program Associate. The Program Officer works closely with the Executive Director on all aspects of the programs, including both day-to-day operations as well as broader program strategy development and thought partnership.
AFF believes that every young person deserves more than one chance at a successful life. For over 30 million young people, their first chance was compromised by adults and systems that didn’t always serve their best interests. AFF partners with organizations across the country that connects young people to caring communities, proven services teach vital skills.
The Surdna Foundation seeks a Program Associate to join the team of the Vice President of Programs and Strategic Initiatives. The Program Associate plays a critical role in managing the day-to-day priorities of a three-person team, and will also lend additional support to the Office of Communications and the Office of Grants Management and Learning, which report to the VP of Programs and Strategic Initiatives.
ecades of infrequent and inadequate adjustment to the federal minimum wage have left today’s low-wage workers earning significantly less than their counterparts 50 years ago. Raising the federal minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2020 would lift wages for one-quarter of American workers and help restore the minimum wage’s role as a labor standard that ensures work is a means to escape poverty, according to a new Surdna Foundation-funded report published by the Economic Policy Institute.
In EPI economic analyst David Cooper analyzes the impact of the Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Robert “Bobby” Scott’s (D-VA) Raise the Wage Act of 2015, which proposes raising the minimum wage to $12 by 2020 and gradually eliminating the subminimum wage for tipped workers.
, “The minimum wage was established to make sure that regular employment would provide workers with the means to a decent quality of life. Lawmakers have let it erode for so long that today a parent working full-time at the minimum wage doesn’t earn enough to be above the poverty line,” said Cooper.
The majority of workers who would get a raise if the minimum wage is increased to $12 by 2020 do not fit the pervasive stereotype of the teenage minimum-wage worker working part-time jobs. In fact, there are more workers age 55 and older who would benefit from the increased minimum wage than teenagers. The average affected worker is 36 years old, and two-thirds of affected workers are 25 years old or older. The majority of affected workers work full time and more than one-quarter have children (27.7 percent). Over 17 million children—more than one-fifth of all children in the United States—stand to benefit from an increase in their parents’ pay.
Workers of color and women would disproportionately benefit from raising the minimum wage. One third of black and Hispanic workers would receive a raise if the minimum wage is raised to $12 by 2020. A majority of affected workers are women (56 percent), and, of the one-third of single parents that would receive higher pay, 40 percent are single moms.
“The average minimum wage worker is not a teenager working after school to earn some extra spending cash. The reality is that these are older workers who often have families to support,” Cooper said. “Raising the minimum wage, eliminating the lower minimum wage for tipped workers, and indexing the wage floor to median wages will improve the wellbeing of millions of workers and their families and will prevent low-wage workers from getting left behind again going forward.”
Fostering sustainable communities in the United States — communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures.