ABOUT THE FUNDS
Taconic Hills Arts and Humanities Endowment Fund
The Taconic Hills Arts and Humanities Endowment Fund was established in 2008 with the help of the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation and the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation. Its purpose is to provide students of the Taconic Hills Central School District (THCSD) with exceptional educational opportunities in the arts and humanities. The Fund supports THCSD teachers and staff in providing creative and innovative projects for their students in the arts, music, history, character education, culture, media and more. Grants are awarded annually for projects such as visiting artists, performances, workshops, field trips, special projects, special materials and supplies, and teacher professional development. These are programs that are above and beyond the core programs supported by state and local funds.
The Fund seeks to ensure the highest level of achievement for the students of Taconic Hills School District and enhance their capacity to achieve excellence both in school and in the community. A good education requires a broad mix of programs that emphasize excellence, innovation, and creativity. A strong arts and humanities enrichment program can achieve these goals. In addition, it can cultivate citizens of good character, and enhance good communications skills and mutual respect among students.
Taconic Hills Arts and Humanities Endowment Fund - History
In 2008, the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation graciously donated $45,000 to the Taconic Hills Central School District to establish the Taconic Hills Education Arts and Humanities Endowment Fund with an additional $10,000 to be granted out every year for five years. To launch the fund, the donor required a $50,000 matching grant. The community of Taconic Hills successfully raised that amount.
In May of 2013, The Ellsworth Kelly Foundation gifted another $50,000 to the Fund to celebrate and honor the 90th birthday of Mr. Kelly. The Taconic Hills school and community continues to be overwhelmed by the generosity of the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation. This Fund offers a stepping stone to expand the hearts and minds of all Taconic Hills students.
The Fund is an endowment fund which will allow for earnings to be distributed in grants on a yearly basis while ensuring that the Fund grows in perpetuity. Teachers, community members, artists, educators and cultural institutions are invited to apply for funding for grant projects that support the goals of the Fund. Applicants not affiliated with the Taconic Hills School District are required to obtain a sign off on the grant application with a representative of the school in which the project is proposed. Please see the Grants section for the link to which you can apply for funding to carry out an arts or humanities educational project within the District.
The assets of the Fund are managed by Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization located in Sheffield, MA. The fund is in place solely to enhance the educational experience of the school district’s students.
The Taconic Hills Educational Enrichment Fund, also called the E-Fund, facilitates and supports educational enrichment initiatives at Taconic Hills Central School for students at all grade levels using private philanthropic resources. The assets of the Fund are invested to produce income and growth in perpetuity, so that grant funding is available for the long term. This Fund began in 1999 is also an endowed fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.
The E-Fund empowers the school to create a learning environment which is continuously improving and serves to distinguish the school in terms of the quality of the educational experience offered its students. It creates an important link between the school and the members of the community it serves. It is intended to perpetuate a sense of pride within the school district and it generates and encourages an excitement and enthusiasm that comes from innovative thinking, good ideas, and thoughtful experimentation.
Grants are awarded for projects that span an array of disciplines including math, science, arts and humanities and more. Possible projects include, but are not limited to: independent study; new programs; extra-curricular activities; individual creative projects, in or outside the classroom; visiting speakers; artists in residence; professional development for teachers; scientific, athletic, or technical equipment; library resources; and field trips. Grants may also be awarded for the purchase of specialized equipment for the school not ordinarily funded by the Taconic Hills Central School's budget. The Fund seeks primarily to help cover the direct costs of projects (not salaries) and priority is given to proposals that rely on volunteer efforts and show additional means of support. Grants from the E-Fund do not replace public dollars for the school district.
The Taconic Hills Arts and Humanities Fund Grant Committee consists of business leaders, community members, parents, teachers and school administrators. This Committee also oversees the E-Fund.
Its' members are as follows:
Nancy Rutter, Committee Chair
Nancy Andell, Art Teacher, Taconic Hills High School
Karen Diperi, DiPeri and Co.
Judy Boomer, Rioult Dance
Constance Lopez, Rare Productions
Dr. Neil L. Howard, Jr., Superintendent of Schools, THCSD
Sandra J. Gardner, Director of Instruction and Staff Development, THCSD
Marie DiGirolamo, Principal of High School, THCSD
The Ellsworth Kelly Foundation
Over the course of the last 10 years, the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation has awarded $1.45 million to stimulate the start up of Arts and Humanities Funds at Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation for the Hudson, Chatham, Germantown, New Lebanon, Ichabod Crane and Taconic Hills Central School districts. These funds are changing the lives of the children in Columbia County—taking them to places they’ve never been, bringing theater companies to their schools, and introducing them to books and artists that they would otherwise never know.
Berkshire Taconic Foundation has worked in partnership with the EKF for 10 years to start and build the six Arts and Humanities funds. Each advisory committee has raised tens of thousands of dollars to match the EKF initial grant thereby securing the fund’s annual grant making ability for the long term. Berkshire Taconic provides administrative, financial and investment support for the funds enabling the committees to focus on fundraising and on grant making. Together, BTCF and the committees have created a network of support for creative work in the arts and humanities for all the public school students throughout Columbia County.
Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation
For over 25 years, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation has built stronger communities and helped donors make a difference through charitable giving in Columbia County, northwest Litchfield County, CT; Berkshire County, MA; and northeast Dutchess County, NY. Each year, the foundation distributes over $7 million through grants and scholarships to nonprofits and individuals in the arts and education, health and human services and environmental protection. Berkshire Taconic is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity. You can make a difference. We can help.
Columbia Arts and Humanities Project
New Lebanon Foundation
Hudson Schools Arts and Humanities Endowment Fund
Chatham Education Foundation
Germantown Student Education Arts and Humanities Endowment Fund
Kinderhook Education Foundation Arts and Humanities Fund