Philanthropy Column

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A longtime corporate supporter of national school-reform efforts has announced plans to focus its grantmaking exclusively on regional education initiatives.

The BellSouth Foundation intends to support efforts focused on improving student achievement in the Southeast, with plans to award $15 million over the next five years for this purpose. The Atlanta-based foundation will also supplement its grantmaking with a program that initiates activities such as research, technical assistance, and conferences.

The regional emphasis grew out of an 18-month internal review and the findings of a panel of education experts and BellSouth employees.

"BellSouth was an early and significant funder, and it continues to be a supporter," said John L. Anderson, the president of the Arlington, Va.-based New American Schools Development Corporation, which has received more than $2 million from BellSouth over the past four years. He said he hoped nasdc's and BellSouth's interests will continue to be compatible as his nonprofit organization focuses on "scaling up" model school designs in 10 regions nationwide.

The foundation's endowment has grown to $55 million from $25 million since it was established in 1986. It now ranks as one of the nation's 25 largest corporate foundations.

Copies of the foundation's new grantmaking guidelines, a report about its new focus, and two reports about its past work, "Beyond Grantmaking" and "Notes From the Field," are available on-line at BellSouth's World Wide Web site at

Print copies are available free of charge from the foundation at (404) 249-2396.

The Annenberg Foundation announced this month that it will award $12 million to help revitalize arts education in the New York City public schools.

The Center for Arts Education, a group to be led by representatives from foundations, schools, the arts, city government, the United Federation of Teachers, and parent groups, will oversee the project.

One emphasis of the grant programs will be the involvement of community groups in exposing students to the arts. The New York Foundation for the Arts, a nonprofit group, will act as the fiscal agent for the grant until the center is set up.

The foundation is requiring that the center raise $2 for every $1 of the grant, for a total of $24 million.

Earlier this year, the foundation awarded $10 million to the Los Angeles-based Galef Institute to oversee a national arts, culture, and technology initiative.

Vol. 15, Issue 26, Page 6

Published in Print: March 20, 1996, as Philanthropy Column
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