25th Anniversary Endowment Challenge Brings P.S. ARTS Funding from Herb Alpert Foundation to $5 Million

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The Herb Alpert Foundation announces a $1 million dollar matching challenge to establish an endowment for the Los Angeles-based arts education nonprofit, P.S. ARTS.

P.S. ARTS Teaching Artist Johanna McKay and class at Mark Twain Elem. Lawndale. Photo by Elaine Lee

P.S. ARTS Teaching Artist Johanna McKay and class at Mark Twain Elem. Lawndale. Photo by Elaine Lee

It is gratifying to see this unique program thriving in Los Angeles, becoming a model for other schools and bringing well-deserved attention to P.S. ARTS.

P.S. ARTS, the 2014 recipient of the Americans for the Arts National Arts Education award, has been providing arts education to children attending underserved public schools in California for 25 years.

Rona Sebastian, President of The Herb Alpert Foundation, remarks, “It is gratifying to see this unique program thriving in Los Angeles, becoming a model for other schools and bringing well-deserved attention to P.S. ARTS. We are delighted that this significant program helps students celebrate their differences and encourages them to become good citizens of the world."

The Herb Alpert Foundation has issued P.S. ARTS a $1 million dollar challenge grant to establish the organization’s first endowment. This gift brings The Foundation’s investment in P.S. ARTS to $5 million, and will insure that the organization can thrive for future generations.

Renowned educator Dr. Paul Cummins founded P.S. ARTS in 1990 with initial funding from The Herb Alpert Foundation in response to state education budget cuts. P.S. ARTS started with 250 children in one elementary school, and now, after 25 years, provides arts education to over 25,000 students. The organization’s dramatic growth is a reflection of The Herb Alpert Foundation’s vision and strategic investment in what Foundation President Rona Sebastian describes as, “one of the nation's premiere, ground-breaking arts instruction programs."

“Over the past 25 years,” says Herb Alpert, “through our support of P.S. ARTS, Lani and I have watched a generation of students thrive on in-school arts exploration and training. We have witnessed how the arts have helped students be creative, experience their own uniqueness, and appreciate the uniqueness in others, stay focused and reach for their potential so that they can lead productive and fulfilling lives. We are proud of our support of P.S. ARTS, and wish them continued success.”

The Herb Alpert Foundation has supported P.S. ARTS’ growth over time, with the goal of long-term sustainability. In 2004, The Foundation made a $1.5 million grant to P.S. ARTS, funding an innovative five-year arts education initiative in the Lawndale Elementary School District for 5,000 students. The grant was designed to provide comprehensive support at the outset and decrease over time as P.S. ARTS education programs developed in the schools.

The Foundation has continued to award up to $200K annually, supporting the region-wide arts education effort led by P.S. ARTS, whose TakePART Initiative in five school districts currently provides 10,000 children with weekly arts education. At the annual Take PART festival 2015 the Initiative received commendations from U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

About P.S. ARTS
P.S. ARTS’ mission is to improve the lives of children by providing arts education to underserved public schools and communities. It is the only organization in Southern and Central California that provides yearlong art education in dance, visual arts, music, and theater to every child in a school during the regular school day.

About The Herb Alpert Foundation
The Herb Alpert Foundation, a non-profit, private foundation established in the early 1980's, makes significant annual contributions to a range of programs in the fields of Arts, Arts Education and Compassion and Well Being. Its funding is directed toward projects in which Herb and Lani Alpert and Foundation President Rona Sebastian play an active role. [The Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals.]

For more information on P.S. ARTS and The Herb Alpert Foundation’s $1 million endowment matching opportunity, please visit http://www.psarts.org/endowment.

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David Escobar-Cambay

Jacob Campbell
P.S. ARTS
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