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Irvine Announces $7 Million in New Grants

BY Ray Delgado
Ray Delgado
Ray Delgado was with The James Irvine Foundation from 2006 to 2013, last serving
User is currently offline
| Dec 17, 2009

San Francisco — The Board of Directors of The James Irvine Foundation has approved 23 grants totaling more than $7 million in support of the Foundation's mission of expanding opportunity for the people of California to participate in a vibrant, successful and inclusive society. (For a list of approved grants, click here.)

Of the $7 million, $755,000 will fund arts service organizations as part of Irvine’s Arts program. Another $1.2 million California Democracy program grant will fund the Institute for Local Government to develop civic engagement practices among local public officials. Additionally, a grant in the Youth program provides $400,000 to the Green Dot Education Project to help restructure Alain Leroy Locke Senior High School into nine small schools.

Sharing Civic Engagement Practices Among Local Public Officials

Irvine’s California Democracy program seeks to advance effective public policy decision making that is reflective of and responsive to all Californians. Grants approved to advance this goal include a $1.2 million grant to the Institute for Local Government (ILG) to develop and disseminate case studies and self-evaluation tools, host workshops and provide technical assistance to city and county officials. ILG will target leaders in the San Joaquin Valley, Inland Empire and other regions where public engagement in local policymaking has been limited.

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Irvine in the News: November 2009

BY Thuy Nguyen Kumar
Thuy Nguyen Kumar
As Communications Project Manager, Thuy provides project support for a broad ran
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| Nov 30, 2009

In November 2009, the following published articles mentioned the work of the Foundation or our grantees:

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Irvine in the News: October 2009

BY Thuy Nguyen Kumar
Thuy Nguyen Kumar
As Communications Project Manager, Thuy provides project support for a broad ran
User is currently offline
| Oct 31, 2009

In October 2009, the following published articles mentioned the work of the Foundation or our grantees:

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Eleven Southern California Arts Institutions Receive $4 Million to Expand Audiences and Increase Financial Sustainability

BY Ray Delgado
Ray Delgado
Ray Delgado was with The James Irvine Foundation from 2006 to 2013, last serving
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| Oct 09, 2009

Second Phase of Irvine Foundation’s Arts Regional Initiative Continues Commitment to Leading Regional Arts Institutions

San Francisco The James Irvine Foundation today announced $4 million in grants to 11 arts institutions in Southern California that are committed to broadening and diversifying their audiences and strengthening their financial sustainability. The organizations selected this year for the Arts Regional Initiative are planning to use the grants to advance financial sustainability within a challenging economic environment and to increase cultural participation from underrepresented communities. While each institution is developing specific plans, initiative participants are updating their strategic plans to recalibrate for the current economy, strengthening and diversifying board leadership, and developing culturally relevant artistic programs to attract diverse audiences.

“In this tough economy, we want to underscore our commitment to these regional arts organizations as they explore new ways of achieving financial sustainability and attracting culturally diverse audiences,” noted James E. Canales, the Irvine Foundation’s President and CEO.

The organizations represent a mix of artistic disciplines, including music, dance, theater, visual arts and multidisciplinary arts. The grants will be awarded over three years and grantees will share resources, best practices and lessons learned. A complete list of grantees follows:

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Irvine Announces $10.2 Million in New Grants

BY Ray Delgado
Ray Delgado
Ray Delgado was with The James Irvine Foundation from 2006 to 2013, last serving
User is currently offline
| Oct 09, 2009

San Francisco — The Board of Directors of The James Irvine Foundation has approved 26 grants totaling nearly $10.2 million in support of the Foundation's mission of expanding opportunity for the people of California to participate in a vibrant, successful and inclusive society. (For a list of approved grants, click here.)

Of the $10.2 million, nearly $4 million will support 11 California arts organizations that are addressing challenges of building organizational capacities and financial stability. Another $905,000 California Democracy program grant will fund KQED’s statewide radio news coverage of significant policy and governance issues focused on California. Additionally, a grant in the Youth program provides $500,000 to strengthen the District Leadership Series of the California Multiple Pathways District Initiative.

Addressing Challenges of Organizational Capacities and Financial Stability

The goal of Irvine’s Arts program is to promote a vibrant and inclusive artistic and cultural environment in California. Grants approved as part of the Arts program include almost $4 million to support 11 California arts organizations through Irvine’s Arts Regional Initiative (ARI). These organizations will receive grants to advance financial sustainability within a challenging economic environment and to increase cultural participation from underrepresented communities.

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From the President: Supporting California's Diverse Communities

BY Jim Canales
Jim Canales
Jim Canales served as President and Chief Executive Officer of The James Irvine
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| Oct 01, 2009

Dear Friends,

Last year, the philanthropic community was engaged in a vigorous debate about diversity and whether private foundations in California were investing sufficiently to support minority communities. This dialogue was prompted in large measure by a proposed California law which would have required large private foundations to collect and report race and ethnicity data about themselves and their grantees. Although Irvine and a broader coalition of private foundations opposed the bill for a number of reasons, the debate it generated identified some important underlying issues and, ultimately, led Irvine and others to take specific, constructive steps to address these issues. This quarter’s letter provides an update on our activities in this regard.

Most significantly, last year’s debate helped to surface a broad need to augment support to nonprofit organizations serving low-income people and communities of color across the state. The discussion also focused on the need for strong leaders and effective organizations in these communities. So, as an extension of our various efforts already dedicated toward this end, Irvine partnered with the Packard and Hewlett foundations to launch the Community Leadership Project, an $8 million commitment by our three foundations over a three year period. The focus of this collaboration is on strengthening organizations, building capacity and developing leadership in three regions of shared interest to our three foundations: the greater San Francisco Bay Area, the Central Coast and the San Joaquin Valley.

In June, our three foundations announced the first round of grants to nine intermediary organizations, totaling $5.7 million. The Community Leadership Project works through intermediary organizations, where possible tapping the expertise of community foundations because of their understanding of the needs of the targeted communities. During the summer, we requested letters of inquiry for a second round of grants. Not only did we receive a large number of applications, but the proposed ideas are creative and compelling, and the applicants have strong networks in the targeted regions. As a result, the three foundations have agreed to contribute an additional $1 million of funding to support some of these proposed projects, bringing the level of funding to $9 million. We expect to announce a new set of partners later this year.

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Irvine in the News: September 2009

BY Thuy Nguyen Kumar
Thuy Nguyen Kumar
As Communications Project Manager, Thuy provides project support for a broad ran
User is currently offline
| Sep 30, 2009

In September 2009, the following published articles mentioned the work of the Foundation or our grantees:

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For Grantseekers in Arts, Regranting Programs Offer Range of Opportunities

BY Ray Delgado
Ray Delgado
Ray Delgado was with The James Irvine Foundation from 2006 to 2013, last serving
User is currently offline
| Sep 22, 2009

As one of the state’s largest private funders of the arts, The James Irvine Foundation’s Arts program seeks “to promote a vibrant and inclusive artistic and cultural environment in California.” This broad goal, in effect, means that Irvine supports arts organizations of all sizes, in all disciplines and in all regions of the state.

But arts and culture in the nation’s most populous state is an enormous and diverse field, with more than 4,000 organizations statewide. Irvine’s five-person Arts program staff would be hard pressed to adequately cover such a broad territory and make well-informed decisions on thousands of grant proposals a year without a little help.

So the Foundation relies on a range of organizations — from community foundations to arts service organizations — to broaden its reach. By tapping the expertise and networks of these organizations in specific regions of the state or artistic disciplines, Irvine is able to keep the quality of grantmaking high, while reaching a larger number of small organizations and individual artists.

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Community Foundations Rise to Recession’s Many Challenges

BY Ray Delgado
Ray Delgado
Ray Delgado was with The James Irvine Foundation from 2006 to 2013, last serving
User is currently offline
| Sep 22, 2009

For Terence Mulligan, the first signs of trouble began to appear two years ago — in what now seems like a familiar story.

Housing foreclosures in Napa Valley, where he serves as president of the local community foundation, inexplicably started to spike. In 2006, just over 20 homes in the entire county were taken over by banks or lenders when their owners couldn’t make payments. But by the end of 2007, while economists were arguing about whether the country had slipped into recession, that number had jumped to more than 200.

Over the next year, as the housing bubble burst and the unemployment rate grew, the large population of low-income agricultural and service workers in Napa bore the brunt of the impact. Applications for food stamps were up. Mental health and domestic violence counselors were suddenly in greater demand. And the housing market — once considered a pillar of local stability — continued to crumble. By the end of last year, there were nearly 800 foreclosures in Napa County.

“As the recession hit last year, it seemed like, ‘Holy cow, the world is coming off its axis,’” recalls Mulligan, whose organization, the Napa Valley Community Foundation, scrambled to find ways to meet the growing community needs. The community foundation has been a major supporter of the county’s largest safety-net organizations, such as food banks, homeless shelters and family centers.

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Pioneering Oakland Program Builds ‘Safe Passages’ for Urban Youth

BY Alex Barnum
Alex Barnum
Alex Barnum was a Communications Officer at The James Irvine Foundation from 200
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| Sep 22, 2009
Andrea was worried about her teenaged son, Jorge. The older cousins he admired were dropping out of school and sporting gang tattoos. One of his middle school classmates had shot another student on the street outside their east Oakland campus. And Jorge himself was beginning to rebel against his mother’s custom of walking him to school each morning.

“He thought he knew it all,” Andrea said.

Josefina Alvarado Mena, executive director of Safe Passages and recipient of a 2009 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award

Then one of Jorge’s teachers invited him to enroll in a special Saturday class focused on gangs. The class took field trips to San Quentin, met with professional men of color, discussed educational disparities and talked openly about the difficulties young boys face growing up in rough urban neighborhoods. After several months, Andrea said, Jorge was a different kid. He lectured his younger sister about staying away from gangs and drugs. He seemed happy for his mother to walk him to school.

Jorge has benefited from an innovative partnership that seeks to mitigate the impact violence has on Oakland’s children. The partnership, called Safe Passages, brings together more than 65 local agencies in Alameda County – among them two school districts, the county and the city of Oakland – to share responsibility for providing services to vulnerable populations of children and youth.

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