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Arizona School Choice Trust

D-backs Accepting Submissions For $150K School Challenge

The Arizona Diamondbacks announced today that they are now accepting applications for the $150,000 School Challenge, presented by University of Phoenix, to benefit schools across the state of Arizona. The program is open to all Arizona public, private, and nonprofit charter schools, Grades K-12, and teachers and administrators are encouraged to “make their best pitch” on why they deserve to receive this important funding by submitting an application online at www.dbacks.com/schoolchallenge by Sept. 30.

“Last season we were astounded by the volume and quality of applications received and we know that schools across the state truly need help,” said D-backs’ President and CEO Derrick Hall. “That’s where the D-backs and University of Phoenix step in and we are excited to be able to bring back this valuable program. We are dedicated to ensuring that the schools in our state receive the resources that will make the biggest impact on our students and the community at large.”

The D-backs kicked off the program last spring with the $100,000 School Challenge and received an overwhelming response that inspired the team to also host a $150,000 Back-To-School Challenge last fall. With more than 1,300 applications last year, the D-backs were able to grant $5,000 to 50 schools for a grand total of $250,000 in 2012. The Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation provided $150,000 for the program and the University of Phoenix provided $100,000.  The $5,000 grants helped schools from across the state with needs such as educational supplies, books, updated computer programs, mobile computer labs and school improvements.

“Our community, schools, and students thrive when supported by local businesses and organizations,” said University of Phoenix President Dr. Bill Pepicello. “University of Phoenix is committed to providing support in the communities in which we reside and we are so proud to be part of this School Challenge program in partnership with the D-backs helping to ensure the education of our youth.”

The School Challenge is part of the D-backs’ overall charitable efforts and last season, the team and its charitable arm, the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation, surpassed $30 million in combined donations since their inception in 1998, including more than $4 million in 2012.

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Actors Theatre Awarded $30K Shubert Foundation Grant

Actors Theatre moved several steps closer to ending its “pause” following a successful annual fund outreach campaign combined with the awarding of a $30,000 Shubert Foundation grant for general operations.
The Shubert Foundation, whose focus is to sustain and advance live performing arts in the US, has funded Actors Theatre consistently since 2001.

Actors Theatre closed out its fiscal year 2013 annual fund effort with donations of $54,000 from more than 200 donors in June alone.  The year-long outreach brought in contributions from a total of 1,391 donors.

“As we make our way back from our ‘pause,’ support from an organization like the Shubert Foundation brings with it a level of acknowledgement that we’re on the right track.  We also received many comments from donors who shared that support and enthusiasm for our strategic rebuilding of the company,” said Producing Artistic Director Matthew Wiener.  “They also told us how much they missed our programming.  We’ll be filling that void shortly.”

The New York City-based Shubert Foundation provides general operating support to nonprofit professional resident theatre and dance companies as well as to support the development of other arts-related organizations.

In April, Actors Theatre announced that A Steady Rain will open the 2013-14 season from Oct. 25 to Nov. 10 at the Playhouse in the Park at the Viad Corporate Center.  Ticket information is available at www.actorstheatrephx.org.  Performance dates are being finalized for Good People and the remaining two shows are being determined.  Tickets will go on sale once all details are in place.

To support Actors Theatre with a donation or for more information, visit www.actorstheatrephx.org.

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SLA Offers $200,000 in Grants

The Scottsdale League for the Arts (SLA), the organization that puts on the Scottsdale Culinary Festival each year, announced $200,000 in donations and grants to support local art and arts education programs in 2013-14. Furthermore, the SLA has created a new, more efficient grant application process as part of its yearly call to local non-profits to submit an application for funding, a program which has provided more than $3.7 million in funding since 2002. New for 2013, the SLA has created an online grants application, which will be available in early July at www.leagueforthearts.org. The grant application package must be completed by Thursday, August 8.

“The Scottsdale League for the Arts is pleased to announce the 2013 Scottsdale Culinary Festival was a huge success and we are excited to offer grants ranging in size from $1k to $15k this year,” says Leslie Rycroft, Vice President of the SLA Board of Directors and Grants Committee Chair. To qualify, applicants must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, incorporated and providing services or programs in the arts or art education within Maricopa County. The SLA will entertain applications from a variety of organizations, provided the focus of the project for which funding is requested is directly related to the arts and/or arts education.

Also new for 2013, the League is requesting that all grant seekers submit their financial data to the Cultural Data Project, which offers a unique system that enables arts and cultural organizations to enter financial, programmatic and operational data into a standardized online form. According to Rycroft, “Many grant-making organizations are using the CDP as it gives the funders a great tool to see all the organizations’ data in the same format, and also gives the reporting organizations a beneficial management tool.” What’s more, the CDP is free to arts organizations seeking funding.

The timeline for the SLA’s 2013-14 grants process is as follows. Online grant applications will be available in early July, are due on Thursday, August 8th, and are scheduled to be funded in mid-September 2013.

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DIGNITY receives $50K from Freeport-McMoRan

Catholic Charities Community Services received a $50,000 Women’s Development Grant from the Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Foundation. The funds will be used to help women in Catholic Charities’ DIGNITY program for prostitution recovery.

“We are so grateful for Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Foundation’s support,” said Erica Reed, DIGNITY program director at Catholic Charities. “There tends to be little sympathy for these women because people assume the women choose to be prostituted. People do not realize that most prostituted individuals come from abusive homes and were lured into ‘the life’ as young as 13. They have had no real home, life-skills or work history. This grant will help our women to reestablish a life for themselves—a life with dignity.”

DIGNITY is an acronym for Developing Individual Growth and New Independence Through Yourself. Catholic Charities reaches out to prostituted individuals, including girls, in the streets and in the jails. They also offer a year-long residential recovery program to help women build their self-esteem and their life-skills so they may transition to an independent life free from abuse and prostitution.

The Women’s Development Grant from Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Foundation will be used to help the DIGNITY women to complete job readiness and life-skill training, including financial literacy.

“When women build stable lives, succeed and increase their income, they are more likely to invest in the physical, emotional and financial wellbeing of their children, their families and their communities,” said Tracy Bame, president of the Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Foundation..