National Philanthropy Honored by National Arts Organization: Wallace Foundation Recognized for Leadership in the Arts

October 28, 2005

National Philanthropy Honored by National Arts Organization: Wallace Foundation Recognized for Leadership in the Arts

Contact: Rich Dieter, 412-773-0899

New York, NY- The National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts (The Guild) honored the Wallace Foundation at The Guild’s “Creative Connections” national conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on October 29, 2005.

The Wallace Foundation is a national leader in education and the arts. It is the 28th largest private foundation in the United States. The Foundation’s activities expand learning and enrichment opportunities for all people. The Foundation strengthens public education leadership to improve student achievement, improves out-of-school learning opportunities and expands participation in arts and culture. The Wallace Foundation is the legacy of DeWitt and Lila Acheson Wallace, founders of The Readers Digest Association.

Although the Foundation awards grants to eligible organizations, it is also making a considerable impact by assisting educational and cultural institutions in their efforts toward significant and sustainable change. The Wallace Foundation Knowledge Center provides policymakers and practitioners with information and insight required to chart effective improvement strategies through innovative practices.

The Guild presented The Wallace Foundation with The Colonel Samuel Rosenbaum Memorial Award. Rosenbaum, a leading Philadelphia attorney, was a trustee of the Philadelphia Orchestra during the Stowkoski and Ormandy years. He established the Music Performance Trust Fund to subsidize live music performances. Accepting the award on behalf of the Wallace Foundation was Rory McPherson. Having joined the Wallace Foundation in 1990, McPherson is the manager of Foundation programs that support efforts to build participation in the arts, including the new Wallace Excellence Awards. He serves on the New York Steering Committee of the Arts and Business Council’s National Arts Marketing Project. Mr. McPherson has worked professionally as a musician, radio announcer and a magazine editor. He received a bachelor’s degree from Sienna College of New York.

The National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts recognized the Foundation for “increasing information, strengthening insights and creating opportunities benefiting arts and cultural organizations throughout the country,” according to Jonathan Herman, Executive Director of The Guild. “The Wallace Foundation’s integrated team approach involving research, communications and grant making is unique among private foundations,” Herman continued.

GuildTech, one initiative of The Guild, has provided increased capacity to numerous member schools. According to Mr. Herman, “The Wallace Foundation has been a partner in GuildTech by providing financial and professional contributions.” He continued, “The Foundation’s support has resulted in the creation of over 30 new community-based arts organizations throughout the country.”

Founded in 1937, the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts is the service association for 300 community-based arts education organizations serving over 380,000 students taught by 13,000 teaching artists. The National Guild advances high-quality, community-based arts education so that all people may participate in the arts. The Guild supports the creation and development of community schools of the arts by providing research and information resources, professional development and networking opportunities, advocacy, and high-profile leadership.

Attending the “Creative Connections” conference were more than 350 leaders representing arts and cultural organizations from 45 states participating in a wide offering of sessions that focused on professional development, information exchanges, management excellence and networking strategies.

The Pittsburgh conference marked the first time that The National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts and the International Network of Schools for the Advancement of Arts Education conferences were held concurrently.


Photograph: Wallace Foundation Senior Program Officer Rory MacPherson and The Guild presenters.