The Winter 2021 Newsletter
The Transformation of Arts Organizations
Supporting Our Community Since 1954
Through initiatives, grantmaking and neighborhood engagement the Gifford Foundation strengthens community assets in order to improve the quality of life for the residents of Central New York.
We recognize that there are many individuals and organizations who have a drive to make a difference within their community. Unfortunately, a lack of resources and training can stand in the way of making these ideas a reality. For over sixty years, the Gifford Foundation has provided the grants and leadership training necessary to facilitate broad, community based change across CNY. Our capacity building initiatives help raise the bar for what’s possible.
Over $44 million in grants awarded
Grantmaking is traditionally reactive, but in line with our belief in community engagement we emphasize a personal approach. By developing a relationship with each grantee, we are better able to help them become strong and durable forces within our community.
Grants awarded since our founding
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Our stories provide increased access and allow our community to see what we’ve been up to and the type of work that we support.
In 2018 I took a trip to Montgomery, Alabama to visit The National Memorial for Peace and Social Justice. It is partially dedicated to the 4,400 known victims of lynching in the United States and made national headlines when it first opened that same year. The other focus of the Memorial is mass incarceration: a system of control that serves as a modern form of the Jim Crow laws.
It has been widely and correctly observed that the internet has become the new “town square”. Breaking news, social dialogue, commerce, the arts, political activism, and even classroom education has all gone digital, a process that has been accelerated by the coronavirus. Moreover, this shift has meant that organizations and businesses alike have to incorporate digital media into their daily operations. With this in mind, The Gifford Foundation decided at the end of last year to bring on a fulltime team member to concentrate primarily on communications.
Accessibility has become a top priority for arts organizations, and it takes many forms. While some efforts are focused directly on surviving the coronavirus pandemic, others are designed to break down the barriers that have historically kept communities of color from participating in these institutions. The leadership at the Everson Museum of Art is working to connect these initiatives towards a common goal of building connections with larger and more diverse audiences.
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