2012 has been an incredible Bicentennial year in so many ways. The amazing acts of our community have highlighted the smart and open nature of Columbus. It was a truly inspiring year in philanthropy as well. More than 28,000 people worked together to make The Columbus Volunteer Challenge an astonishing success and an unprecedented $163.4 million gift from Limited Brands, Inc. to Limited Brands Foundation, a Supporting Foundation of The Columbus Foundation was announced. It is the largest gift in the history of philanthropy in Ohio. These are just two examples of our big-hearted community.
So, as we prepare to continue our compassion into 2013, let’s take a look back at some of the PowerPhilanthropy Friday moments of 2012…
“It’s critical that people continue to give their time and money to the things in our community that enrich our lives. The arts survive on philanthropy, The King Arts Complex is donor-driven like many arts organizations are,” said Demetries Neely, interim executive director.
“I’ve been amazed at the philanthropic nature of Columbus, that when the community sees the need for a project like this, whether it’s Mid-Ohio Foodbank or an artistic project where people can really move the city and elevate it’s spirit and celebrate what it is though art. That’s the commonality that we can all bring together,” Byron Stripling, artistic director of the Columbus Jazz Orchestra said.”
“They are documenting their own history. You will never know all the positives that come out of this program. Philanthropy in this is essential. These great moments of engagement wouldn’t happen without philanthropy. It’s the only way that this type of rich education can happen,” said Bobbie Atlas, art teacher at Marion-Franklin High School.
“I’m learning how good philanthropy can be. It’s hard work though,” said Harmonie Thomas, a Sullivant Elementary fifth-grader.
“Columbus, your waters showed me how to dive
To break the aquarium’s glass of my own mind
Whatever kind your seed, there’s room
Whatever color your bud, let it bloom
We all bend from the same colored stem
Every new morning
We get to begin
How many Christopher Columbus statues are there in Columbus? What was the first tax for Columbus citizens? How did Columbus get its name?
We live in a great community, where history resounds and opportunity abounds. Here is a two-minute video reflection for you to view and share with your friends and family, at staff or civic meetings or in recruiting folks to join us in this great American city.
“Momentum wouldn’t be anywhere without BalletMet. We both believe that through dance, music and performance we can show these children they are capable of greatness and excellence,” founder Monica Kridler said.
“Penny Harvest transforms their worldview and it can transform their perspective about what they are capable of. It’s inspiring the next generation of philanthropists,” said Bill Grindle, executive director of See Kids Dream.
Best’s temporary project brings new life to Columbus’s major downtown bridge.
Made of computer-cut plywood, each of the four “Bicentennial Towers” is 16 feet tall and 8 feet in diameter. The towers are among the 13 public art projects in FINDING TIME: Columbus Public Art 2012
“I was chosen to come here for being a good leader on and off the field. It’s a nice experience and good recognition. It’s nice to be able to say I accomplished this,” said Troy Robinson Jr., a senior at Mifflin High School.
“She is going to give me a new life because not only is she going to do things for me but I’m going to be able to get my mind off of myself,” Pamela said.
“They are caring more about learning, beautifying their neighborhoods, and making sure to recycle. From the community garden to The Ohio State University, that’s our long-term goal,” Peggy Murphy who started the Highland Youth Garden said.
“When kids get involved at an early age in programs like these, they continue to value them into their teens. The positive environment, the positive adults, and their successes keep them from slipping into the streets,” said Dan Moehrman, Recreation and Team Sports director.
“It’s an incredible experience to have all these art forms in one place. It’s a melting pot,” said Greg Page, YMCA program director.”
“Our goal is to educate and empower kids to do things they thought they couldn’t. This is a place for youth to challenge and improve themselves. You see the smiles, the learning, and kids enjoying green space. It makes me very proud and happy,” said Marci Ryan, executive vice president of Camp Mary Orton.
“One business at a time. We spend a lot of time with these small businesses to make them sustainable and give them access to the American dream. That’s what it’s all about,” said Inna Kinney, ECDI founder and CEO.
“I encourage each person who was raised on the near east side of Columbus, Ohio to testify in putting their recollections on paper, canvas, in song, film or however one chooses to create and tell their own stories,” Aminah Robinson writes in one of the works.
“Without Thurber I wouldn’t be as good. I wouldn’t be doing this. I would be alone. So yeah, my life would suck if I wasn’t able to come here,” said Frankie Diederich, a junior at Grove City Christian, with one of her all but constant smiles.
“The exhibit is also a celebratory moment for the entire city. With our Bicentennial year, it’s a galvanizing event to spark dialogue, foster education, and help make this richer, even more culturally engaged city,” said Karen Simonian, director of Media and Public Relations at the Wexner.
“The world is coming to Columbus and every week we add more than 300 people to our community. It is the only city in Ohio where more people are moving in than moving out,” said Michael Wilkos, The Columbus Foundation.
“Deaf people can do anything but hear. If you raise the bar, offer the right training and expectations, people will rise to the challenge,” said Meredith Crane, executive director of Deaf Initiatives.
From care for others to economic development, the story of philanthropy in Ohio is movingly told by our residents from around the state.
“Many cakes have been cut this year in honor of the 200th birthday of Columbus. As part of the celebration of all that makes Columbus great, Finding Time aims to demonstrate that art in the public realm is more than icing on the cake — it is part of the cake of lively and livable places,” director Malcolm Cochran noted.
Information about more than 600 local nonprofits is available 24/7 through the Foundation’s online resource, PowerPhilanthropy, which is available to everyone who wants to be more informed about nonprofits before they give. PowerPhilanthropy makes it easy to donate to the causes you care about at columbusfoundation.org/p2/.