Taconic Hills Arts & Humanities Endowment Fund and the E-Fund


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. 

Taconic Hills Arts and Humanities Fund Committee:

Nancy Rutter, Chair
Judy Boomer, Mike Robbins, Tamara Carroll, Connie Lopez, John Mahoney, Amy Hilliard, Katie Dierkes
Student Representative: Jadyn Carruthers

The E Fund

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. 

E Fund Committee  

Moira Buhr (Chair), Pat Atwood, Margaret Avenia, Kim Gaylord, Joe Giulian, Jed Luchow, Terry Sullivan

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.


Apply for Funding

Teachers, community members, parents, educators, and cultural and educational institutions are encouraged to apply for grant funding for arts and humanities projects that enhance the educational experience of Taconic Hills public school students.  

Projects eligible for funding include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • High quality, professional artists/artistic companies of all disciplines (music, theater, dance, literature, visual arts, media arts, history, social sciences) in residence to work or present performances, readings or projects in Taconic Hills;

  • Scholars in any humanities discipline in residence; 

  • Field trips for students to attend performances, exhibitions or projects of significant quality;

  • Projects that provide individual instruction or training by professional caliber artists/scholars;

  • Equipment for special projects not normally funded by the school budget;

  • Commissions for artists or professionals in the humanities to engage in a project with the Taconic Hills community; 

  • Professional development or teacher training programs that use the arts and humanities to enhance the skills of the existing faculty and allow the district to attract and retain the best teachers.

The arts and humanities are broadly defined and include all cultural and humanities disciplines.  

Projects funded by the E-Fund cover a broad range of disciplines including:  science, math, farming, engineering, technology, arts and humanities, character education and more.   The application form is the same for each fund.
Grant cycles take place on a yearly basis and awards range from $100-$3000.  The grant application deadline is usually scheduled in November each year and the process entails an easy on-line application which can be found on the website of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.  All applicants not affiliated with the District are required to obtain a sign off on the application from a representative of the school in which the project is proposed.

Click here to apply and learn more about project criteria.  Search for “Taconic Hills Arts and Humanities and E-Fund.”


Grants Awarded

Grants 2017-2018 

Pascal RIOULT Dance Theatre Residency
Fashion Retailing Co-Curricular Project
Fencing Club
Therapeutic Art & Mind Center
Millay’s World & Mine
Taconic Hills Key Club
Bronx Zoo Trip
Operation Wallacea
Fall Festival of Shakespeare
Animal Kindness/Animal Club

Grants 2013-2014 

Fall Festival of Shakespeare                                                             
Chinese Sister School Visit                                                               
MLK Day: Diversity Speaker                                                                       
Operation Wallacea Science Research                                                        
Pascal Rioult Dance Theatre Program                                                        
Chamber Theatre Productions                                                          
Enrichment Activities for the Summer Program                                         
Bystander Project                                                                   

Grants 2012-2013 

Fall Festival of Shakespeare                                                             
Pascal RIOULT Dance Theatre                                                                  
Life on the Farm: Original Musical                                                   
Career Night in the Arts   
Jason and the Argonauts Program at the Mahaiwe


Donate to the Funds

You can make a tax-deductible donation to the Taconic Hills Arts and Humanities Endowment Fund or E-Fund by donating through the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3). Donations will go directly to the Fund to pay for exceptional educational projects for Taconic Hills public school students. Donating directly will ensure that these fund will be available to the students of the Taconic Hills Central School District for the long term.

Any and all contribution levels are welcome and appreciated.

To donate now, click on the link below.
After putting in your gift amount, click on “Named Charitable Fund” and select Taconic Hills Arts and Humanities Endowment or Taconic Hills E-Fund for your donation.



Please consider becoming a volunteer for the Funds to help with any or all of our duties such as project facilitation, fundraising, communications, mailings, organization of events and other potential projects.

Work with the Students!

Do you have a skill, expertise, academic background or field of art or study that you can share with the students of Hudson?  Do you have connections with people or institutions that have resources to offer?  Many of the Arts and Humanities projects are initiated,  suggested or undertaken by members of the community.   

Please contact Sandra Gardner at sgardner@taconichills.k12.ny.us if you have a project in mind that you would like to propose, discuss or brainstorm.


For information relating the Taconic Hills Arts and Humanities Fund or the E-Fund please contact the following board members:

Sandra Gardner,  Director of Instruction and Staff Development, THCSD, sgardner@taconichills.k12.ny.us