New staff, new grants, new office – Summertime news from GDDF

New Staff
We are pleased to welcome two new staff members!
Baronica Roberson will join our team on August 30th as Director, Finance and Administration. She comes to us after serving as Deputy Commissioner/Chief Financial and Operating Officer for the Chicago Public Library. More about Baronica here.
Natalie Birk joined us in June as Executive Assistant. She brings over 30 years of government and non-profit management experience to GDDF, having held leadership and management positions at several cultural and conservation institutions. More about Natalie here.

New grants awarded
At its meeting earlier in the month, the board approved 28 grants totaling $1.8 million across our three program areas. The full list is here, with additional details in each of the program areas below.

New Charleston Office
We have moved to a new office in Charleston. While not yet open for visitors, we are receiving mail here and hope to host again starting this fall.

1640 Meeting Street Rd.
Suite 303
Charleston, SC 29405

Our phone number is still 843-277-2041 but that will be changing soon, as well.

New mission aligned investments
As part of the Foundation’s commitment to implement diversity, equity, and inclusion into all aspects of our programs and operations, we have identified two new diverse managers to add to our endowment portfolio. We recently made an eight-figure investment in Matis US Equity Index Strategy, owned and managed by Machel Allen, an African-American woman. And in the private investment space, we approved a multi-million dollar allocation to Base 10 HBCU Advancement Initiative, a venture capital firm in the technology space that has developed an innovative structure to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities as part of its operating model.

New commitment to disability inclusion
We have signed on to the Disability Inclusion Pledge, developed by the Presidents’ Council on Disability Inclusion in Philanthropy, and encourage other funders to join us on this learning and accountability journey.
Quote from our Executive Director, David Farren, “Disability inclusion is often forgotten when talking about equity and social justice. We are striving to help change that and look forward to this co-learning opportunity. This pledge gives us a guide for further action and a framework for accountability.”

Next proposal deadline
Our next deadline is tomorrow July 30, 2021. New organizations should reach out to our respective program staff at least one month in advance before applying, so if you haven’t connected with us yet, we hope to speak with you before the start of our Spring 2022 grant cycle, the deadline for which is April 1, 2022. Guidelines and contact information can be found within each program area here.

First Broadening Narratives grants awarded

Our first round of grants to support Broadening Narratives totaled $579,000 to ten organizations.

Five Chicago-based organizations received grants: the Haitian American Museum of Chicago, Honey Pot Performance, National Museum of Mexican Art, South Side Home Movie Project, and the University of Illinois Chicago, College of Nursing.

The five Lowcountry-based organizations are Avery Research Center for African American History & Culture at the College of Charleston, Coastal Carolina University, Drayton Hall Preservation Trust, Harbor Historical Association / South Carolina Maritime Museum, and Penn Center.

Read more about each group and their projects here.

Newly approved grants

Grants were made to three new organizations and three returning groups in Chicago, totaling $125,000 over multiple years. One $12,500 grant was made in the Lowcountry. The full list is here. Nearly all arts renewals were approved by our board earlier in the year, therefore this is a smaller list than usual.

Art to see

Arts organizations are opening back up! Check out this regularly updated list of offerings from arts groups in both the Chicago region and Lowcountry.

[Image is from Trap Door Theatre]

Accessibility workshops for arts organizations
In the spring, the Chicago Cultural Accessibility Consortium offered accessibility workshops for arts organizations in Chicago. The recordings are now available on our YouTube channel here: Disability Awareness and Accessible Virtual Events.
Newly approved grants
view from a hill or mountain of a green valley of grasses and treesIn Land Conservation, eight grants were made in our new Chicago region strategy, totaling $870,000, most over multiple years. Three grants were made in the Lowcountry, totaling $140,000. The full list is here.

[Image is from Kettle Moraine Land Trust]


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