Kern Community Foundation Awards More Than $100,000 to Local Arts Nonprofits, More Than $400,000 in First Quarter of 2011
Apr 5, 2011

Jeff Pickering presents grant to Bernard Herman and Marcia Giumarra of Bakersfield Museum of Art.

(Bakersfield, Calif., April 5, 2011) – Kern Community Foundation ("Foundation") awarded more than $100,000 to local arts and culture organizations on April 1, 2011 at the "First Friday" event held at Metro Galleries in Bakersfield. These grants bring Kern Community Foundation's total charitable investment in local arts organizations to more than $400,000 so far this year.

Grants were awarded from KernArts Now!, the Foundation’s grantmaking initiative focused on improving the operations and sustainability of arts and culture organizations from across Kern County. Grant recipients included the following: Arts Council of Kern, Bakersfield Community Theatre, Bakersfield Museum of Art, Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra, Center of the World Festival, Desert Community Orchestra Association, Kern River Valley Arts Association, Maturango Museum, Tehachapi Performing Arts Center Foundation, and Tehachapi Wind Museum.

"This grantmaking initiative will help build the capacity of local arts organizations," said Jeff Pickering, Kern Community Foundation President and CEO. "Instead of buying performances, instruments, costumes or art supplies, our grants help pay for things like technology improvements, strategic planning and other services that help these charities to improve their operations and hopefully become more sustainable."

The inaugural grants from KernArts Now! were made possible, in part, through support from The James Irvine Foundation. Future grants will be made possible through contributions from local donors to the KernArts Now! Fund, as well as contributions made directly to the arts and culture organizations through Kern Community Foundation’s online Nonprofit Search.

"In addition to the competitive grants, we issued a KernArts Match Challenge to help these organizations to raise money online using their profile and the tools available through our Nonprofit Search," added Juan Avila, Director of Nonprofit Outreach. "We were blown away by the response – In just a few days, more than 125 people donated over $20,000 to twenty different arts charities, which the Foundation matched dollar for dollar."

Kern Community Foundation has become known as a grantmaker that gets results. "This portfolio of grants from KernArts Now! is a first step in our efforts to help good nonprofit businesses become great nonprofit businesses," said Keith Brice, Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, and President of Mid State Development Corporation. "We are proud to recognize the work of these fine arts and culture organizations, and we look forward to announcing similar funding opportunities in the future."

Kern Community Foundation is a vibrant nonprofit enterprise created by and for the people of Kern County. Its mission is powerfully simple – the Foundation is growing community and growing philanthropy. Kern Community Foundation is known as a home for Kern community philanthropists, a results-oriented grant maker and a trusted community leader. Since its establishment in 1999, the Foundation has grown to hold more than 90 charitable funds with assets of nearly $14 million, and has awarded more than $7 million to improve Kern County’s quality of life.

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