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Honoring Robert W. Denious

Long-time Presser Foundation Trustee Robert W. Denious passed away on September 4, 2021.  We received the news with deep sadness as Bob was a valued and congenial colleague in service of the musical and philanthropic vision of Theodore Presser.  Bob served for nearly two decades as a loyal member of the Presser Board and had been elected to the honorary designation of Honorary Trustee in 2015.  During a distinguished career as a lawyer for Duane, Morris, and Heckscher, Bob brought his considerable knowledge and skill, his love of music, and an exceptional sense of service to others to the work of the Foundation as he did to many other organizations that have worked to improve conditions in our society.  His loss will be felt by all of us at the Foundation, and we will greatly miss his most delightful manner.  We join many others in Philadelphia and the region in expressing our sincere condolences to his family and friends.

https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/mainlinemedianews/name/robert-denious-obituary?pid=200110931

Jeffrey Cornelius, President

The Presser Foundation   


Reflection on Next Movement: Centering Racial Equity

By Abby Rolland, Grants & Communications Manager

Being vulnerable and open about one’s organization, one’s board, one’s feelings is never easy, even when around close family and friends. To do so in a (virtual) room with other nonprofits and a funder is even harder.

To their immense credit, Monica Buffington (Kennett Symphony), Arreon Harley-Emerson & Brittney Lynn Stanton (Choir School of Delaware), Alicia Brozovich (Trenton Children’s Chorus), and Alex Shaw (World Café Live) openly and honestly discussed their respective organizations’ journeys toward embedding and centering racial equity in their activities and programs, in their missions, and in their visions.

But let me back up about and share some background about why these people, why this Zoom room, and why this topic.

First, this event took place as part of our, The Presser Foundation’s, drive to provide resources to grantees that go “beyond the check.” In other words, the Foundation strives to be a resource for grantees beyond solely its grantmaking. Thus, the idea for the Next Movement series was born. Last year, The Presser Foundation and the American Composers Forum hosted five Idea Forums focused on resilience, creativity, and programming during the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, we reimagined the five Idea Forums to become one panel discussion that the above participants graciously agreed to participate in.

Secondly, the Foundation is working to center racial equity within our own organization. We’ll share more on this later, but we are actively striving in our tactics and in our strategy to become a more equitable, a more inclusive, and a more just organization. While we hoped that this panel would be beneficial for grantees, we also understand its applicability to our own efforts.

So as we planned this event, we prepped questions, shared them with the panelists, and the panelists shared their thoughts about what they wanted to say. I knew at that point that the variety of organizations (two children’s choirs/schools, one presenting music space with a strong focus on education, and one symphony), the variety of staff/board perspectives (two executive directors, one education-focused staff member, one marketing/development-focused staff member, and one board member), and the various stages of how each is centering racial equity would make for an enlightening and enriching discussion.

Yet even those high expectations were surpassed. Throughout the 90-minute event, the panelists were open, honest, and vulnerable. They not only shared the victories and positive steps they are taking to centering racial equity, but they also discussed the challenges they face. They mentioned the importance of changing the language of “at-risk” and “underserved.” They talked about actively pushing at all times to foster and facilitate sustainable change. They shared how you can sympathetically “vibrate” with people in your organization with the same ideas and vision to advancing and centering equity. They openly discussed the stages they are in, revealed past successes and trials, and shared the challenges they face with getting everyone within the organization on board.

I could go on and on about the event, how quickly it went by, how we wish we had more time, and how positive the participants’ feedback has been so far. Instead of typing pages and pages, I would encourage you to watch the recording. I would bet that you would learn at least one thing relevant for your organization.

Recording: https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/S6ZruDYtXb3EN5YSKjdyIGgtHFY_Jy7EBfeYFbC-a6cDoAZhyaF_dFPgLXdUti88.UYRQy_raTW_sZ-z4

Password: 2XzF!8!M

And if you don’t have even 10 minutes to watch it, I would encourage you to check out the resources shared by the panelists.  

To conclude, The Presser Foundation is proud to partner with such extraordinary grantees and organizations. As a new staff member, I am thrilled to be part of an organization that takes its commitment to centering racial equity and to being a true partner to and amplifier of its grantees, seriously. In addition, I’m even more eager than before to continue learning from and partnering with amazing nonprofits in the Greater Philadelphia area.


News Release: The Presser Foundation Announces Nearly $2 Million in New Capital Support Grants

April 19, 2021 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – In a continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating impact on the Greater Philadelphia Area’s rich ecosystem of music performance, education, and community engagement, The Presser Foundation announces new Capital Support grants to thirty-five music organizations. These grants, totaling $1,954,200 and paid over six years provides both single year and multi-year support to music organizations. The Foundation will also make payments on previous and deferred commitments totaling an additional $547,500. A full listing by category of the forty-four grantee organizations is below.

These grants are designated for capital projects of music presenting, music performing and music education organizations in the Greater Philadelphia Area. Capital projects typically include the construction of new facilities and the renovation or expansion of existing facilities. The Foundation also provided for a one-time extension of grant guidelines to consider the equipment and supply needs of organizations as they continue to respond to the pandemic with innovative, uplifting and inspiring music programming. 

Corey R. Smith, Chair of the Capital Support Committee, commented on these grants, Given the environment of continued uncertainty due to the pandemic, the Foundation is pleased to be in the position to support music organizations of a great variety of scale and purpose. These grants will support the purchase of a computer, equipment for recording, supplies for summer camps, a micro-stage, and needed maintenance and renovation of buildings. We want our music organizations to come roaring back when it is safe to do so, because so many musicians, students, and enthusiasts depend on them.” 

2021 Capital Support Grantees (in alphabetical order by category)

Traditional Large Capital Projects – $1,760,000 in Multi-Year Grants

Community Music School Lehigh Valley

Curtis Institute of Music

EMEAPP (Electronic Music Education and Preservation Project)

Kimmel Center, Inc.

Kutztown University Foundation

LiveConnections DBA World Cafe Live

Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz & Performing Arts

Philadelphia Youth Orchestra Music Institute

Settlement Music School

The Music School of Delaware

West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance

COVID-Related Capital Needs – $194,200 in Single Year Grants

Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

ArtSmart

Berks Youth Chorus

Bowerbird

Chester Children’s Chorus

Choir School of Delaware

Choral Arts Philadelphia

Commonwealth Youthchoirs

Community Conservatory

Community Music School of Collegeville

Darlington Arts Center

Esperanza

Friends of the Wanamaker Organ

Harrisburg Symphony Association

Musicopia

OperaDelaware

Orchestra 2001

Philadelphia Sinfonia Association

Princeton Symphony Orchestra

PRISM Quartet, Inc.

Reading Symphony Orchestra

Singing City

Sruti

Tempesta di Mare, Inc.

Previous & Deferred Capital Project Commitments – $547,500 in Multi-Year Grants

Haverford College

Historic Lansdowne Theater Corporation

Lebanon Valley College

Lafayette College

Rider University – Westminster Choir College

Swarthmore College

Stetson University

The Mann Center for the Performing Arts

University of the Arts


News Release: The Presser Foundation Announces Nearly $1.2 Million in General Operating Support Grants to Music Organizations

February 24, 2021 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania In a continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating impact on the greater Philadelphia area’s rich ecosystem of music performance, education, and community engagement, The Presser Foundation announces another round of general operating support grants to 86 music organizations. These grants, totaling $1,166,500 provide both single year and multi-year support to music organizations in the Greater Philadelphia Area. The grants will be paid immediately to help these organizations to continue to weather the current COVID-19 crisis, which has forced so many music organizations to reimagine operations, performances and other activities. 

William B. McLaughlin, III, Chair of the Advancement of Music Committee, commented “While the ongoing pandemic has created stress on our beloved musical institutions, The Presser Foundation is inspired by so many who have invested in providing online music programming, shown great flexibility and innovation, and explored collaborations and other strategic relationships to supplement resources and expertise and expand audiences. Eighty-six organizations of a great variety of scale and purpose will receive funding and we are honored to help sustain and nurture these organizations that are essential to the communities and audiences they serve.”

Advancement of Music Grants: (in alphabetical order)

Academy of Vocal Arts 

Allentown Symphony Association

American Composers Forum

Anna Crusis Women’s Choir

Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Ars Nova Workshop

Art Sphere, Inc.

Artistas y Musicos Latino Americanos (AMLA)

ArtSmart

Astral Artists

Bay Atlantic Symphony, Inc.

Bowerbird

Chamber Music Society of Bethlehem

Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia

Chester Children’s Chorus

Choir School of Delaware

Choral Arts Philadelphia

Commonwealth Youthchoirs

Community Conservatory

Community Music School Lehigh Valley

Community Music School of Collegeville

Community Youth Orchestra of Bucks County

Darlington Arts Center

Delaware County Youth Orchestra

Delaware Symphony Orchestra

Dolce Suono Ensemble

Encore Series Inc./The Philly POPS

Esperanza

Friends of the Wanamaker Organ

Garden State Philharmonic Orchestra

Harrisburg Symphony Association

Intercultural Journeys

Kimmel Center

Lancaster Symphony Orchestra

LiveConnections DBA World Cafe Live

Lyra Society

Lyric Fest

Marian Anderson Historical Society & Museum

Market Square Concerts

Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia

Music at Bunker Hill, a Nj nonprofit corporation

Music at Gretna, Inc.

Music for Everyone

Musicopia

Network for New Music

Ocean County College Foundation – The Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts

Opera Philadelphia 

OperaDelaware

Orchestra 2001

Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale

Philadelphia Chamber Music Society

Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz & Performing Arts

Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus

Philadelphia Sinfonia Association

Philadelphia Youth Orchestra Music Institute

Piffaro, The Renaissance Band

Play On, Philly! (POP)

Princeton Symphony Orchestra

PRISM Quartet, Inc. 

Project 440

Reading Symphony Orchestra

Riverside Symphonia

Rock to the Future

Settlement Music School

Singing City

Singing Hearts Choir Inc.

State Theatre Regional Arts Center At New Brunswick Inc

Symphony in C

Tempesta di Mare, Inc.

Temple University Music Preparatory Division

The Allentown Band

The Bach Choir of Bethlehem

The Crossing

The Friends of Chamber Music of Reading, Inc.

The Georgia E. Gregory Interdenominational School of Music

The Mann Center for the Performing Arts

The Music School of Delaware

The Philadelphia Orchestra

The Princeton Festival 

Trenton Children’s Chorus, Inc.

Trenton Music Makers

Tri-County Concerts Association, Inc.

Wilmington Children’s Chorus

Wilmington Concert Opera

Youth Orchestra of Central Jersey

Zoellner Arts Center

About The Presser Foundation

The Presser Foundation was established in 1939 under the Deeds of Trust and Will of the late music publisher Theodore Presser. It is one of the few private foundations in the United States dedicated solely to music education and music philanthropy. The Presser Foundation supports a broad range of classical symphonic, chamber, choral and vocal music performance and education through general operating and program grants to music organizations; capital grants for music building projects; undergraduate and graduate student awards; and assistance to retired music teachers. Much of the grant making focus of the Foundation is on organizations and institutions in the 75-mile radius surrounding Center City Philadelphia. For more information: www.presserfoundation.org.


Honoring Lucinda S. Landreth

It is with a profound sense of sadness and loss that we received word that long-time Trustee and former President of the Board of Trustees, Lucinda “Cindy” Landreth lost her battle with illness on Sunday, January 31, 2021.  Shared by her family, “The Presser Foundation was at the top of her non-profit involvements.  She loved the mission and loved the people.”  

The feeling was mutual.  She remained an active participant in the work of the Foundation until the very end.  To say she’ll be missed somehow seems inadequate.  She was a potent force throughout her terms of membership on the Board and, of course, during her service as President.  She was also an example for all of us in how she lived her life with dignity, quiet courage, and purpose throughout these difficult years.

https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/inquirer/name/lucinda-landreth-obituary?pid=197654728

Dr. Jeffrey Cornelius, President


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