The Fund’s Purpose and History

    The Germantown Student Education Arts and Humanities Endowment Fund was established in 2008 with the help of the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation and the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation.  The purpose of the Fund is to provide Germantown Central School District (GCSD) public school students of all grade levels with exceptional educational opportunities in the Arts and Humanities.   The Fund supports GCSD teachers and staff in providing creative and innovative projects for their students in the arts, music, history, character education, culture, media and more. It provides grants for 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.

    In 2008, the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation graciously donated $100,000 to the Germantown Central School District to establish the Germantown Student Education Arts and Humanities Endowment Fund.  To launch the fund, the donor required a $50,000 matching grant from the community.  The Germantown community 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 Germantown 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 Germantown 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 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 Germantown Central School 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.

    Grant Committee

    The Germantown Student Education Arts and Humanities Endowment Fund Committee oversees grant making decisions.  Its board is comprised of community members, teachers, business leaders and school administrators.  

    Committee members are as follows:  Joseph Phelan (Chair), Robert Beaury, Angelica Clements, Florentina Campion, Wendy Nack-Lawlor, Kylie Pecord, Andrea DiPace, Karol Harlow, Nadine Rumke, Jerry Smith, Devin Overington,  Joan Buser, Adeline Malone
    There are two funds that offer grants for enrichment projects in the Germantown Central School District.   One is the above-mentioned Germantown Student Education Arts and Humanities Endowment Fund which funds arts and humanities projects.  The Germantown Student Education Foundation offers grants for projects that cross a broader spectrum of disciplines, including projects related to arts, humanities, mathematics, the sciences and other subjects.   Please click on the following link to learn more about GSEF.  www.gsefonline.org

     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. 

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