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CalArts receives $1.25M grant

The Eisner Foundation donates sum

Posted: March 8, 2009 1:16 a.m.
Updated: March 8, 2009 4:30 a.m.

Santa Clarita Valley's California Institute of the Arts' Community Arts Partnership received a $1.25 million grant from The Eisner Foundation.

The Eisner Foundation grant supports the partnership's new media programs and endows scholarships for former participants who plan to continue their studies at CalArts.

For each year of the five-year grant, the foundation will provide $250,000 to the partnership - $75,000 for core operating support, $25,000 for current scholarships and $150,000 to endow future scholarships.

"There is so much talent that our society is willing to waste," CalArts President Steven Lavine said. "The partnership opens the door.
CalArts, one of the most economically and ethnically diverse private colleges in the country, prepares these young artists to make their own contributions - artistically, socially and economically. This extraordinary contribution from the Eisner Foundation lends critical support to some of Los Angeles' most gifted students."

The partnership partners with 36 art youth organizations and public schools, providing participating youth with access to higher art education.

The program offers more than 40 in-depth art programs free of charge. Along with CalArts, local institutions that benefit from the program include the Boys & Girls Club of the Santa Clarita Valley, Hart High School and Arroyo Seco Junior High School.

Founded in 1996 and based in Beverly Hills, the Eisner Foundation was created by Michael D. Eisner, then-chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company.

Today, the Eisner Foundation gives out about $7 million a year to nonprofit organizations that bring lasting changes to lives of vulnerable people starting and ending their lives in Southern California.

The Eisner Foundation is currently led by executive director Trent Stamp.

"Through our family foundation, we want to do all we can to support the development of young scholars interested in new media," Michael Eisner said.

"We believe passionately in the potential of all young people, and think that connecting them to the resources of CalArts is a tremendous vehicle for advancing not only the youth of Los Angeles but the long-term viability of new media itself.

"Our goal with this gift is to identify talented young people from diverse backgrounds and neighborhoods in Los Angeles and give them the opportunities to transform their lives through access to the partnership and eventually CalArts," Eisner said.

Keeping its longstanding commitment of recruiting an economically and culturally diverse student body with admission based solely on merit, CalArts relies heavily on scholarship funds to attract and retain the partnership students.

The foundation grant enables the partnership to continue providing new media programming for more than 750 students each year.

"One of the primary goals of the partnership is to connect young people to opportunities for higher education," said Glenna Avila, partnership director.

"Thanks to this groundbreaking gift, the partnership's students who matriculate to CalArts will receive scholarship support. They'll gain access to the highest quality arts education and continue developing skills acquired in the partnership programs."


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