If Thanksgiving is a day of gratitude for what we have, the days immediately following it seem to be a frenzy for obtaining more. The feverish consumerism fueled by Black Friday and Cyber Monday was given an more generous alternative in 2012 with the beginning of Giving Tuesday: a day to support and encourage charitable giving for the benefit of others.
Following the philanthropic legacy of Bunny and Paul Mellon, we are driven to continue in the spirit of giving. As a private operating foundation, the Oak Spring Garden Foundation does not make grants to organizations; however, we do make grants to individuals, especially emerging leaders, who are making a difference in the world of plants, gardens and landscapes.
One way we are doing this is by supporting artists who are influenced by a sense of place, including the natural world and humankind’s place in it. This past summer, we hosted four incredible artists for a trial Artist in Residence program. In 2019, we will be expanding this program by hosting two two-week programs and two six-week programs for artists.
In order to select the eight artists who will come to Oak Spring for the 2019 six-week programs, we enlisted the help of a diverse Nomination Panel of established leaders in the art world, then worked with an external Selection Committee. Participating in a Selection Committee is an important honor and we recognize the time and thoughtfulness that is required. As an incentive to the Selection Committee members, we are making a donation of $1,500 to a non-profit organization of each member’s choice.
This selection process allows us to increase our impact: not only do we ensure that the artists we support have true potential, but we are also indirectly supporting other organizations who do work for the public benefit. Read below to see the seven organizations who will be receiving support from us as a result of our 2019 Artists in Residence program.
Refugees International (RI) advocates for lifesaving assistance and protection for displaced people and promotes solutions to displacement crises.
The Hudson Review is a quarterly literary journal from New York City that began in 1948.
The Textile Museum at the George Washington University in Washington DC fosters the study and appreciation of art, history and culture with a collection of textile art representing five continents and five millennia.
RxArt is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help children heal through the extraordinary power of visual art. They commission exceptional contemporary artists to transform sterile healthcare facilities into engaging and inspiring environments full of beauty, humor and comfort.
The Healing Place is a long-term peer-driven residential recovery program serving neighbors suffering from substance use disorder in the Greater Richmond community.
The Love Your Brain Foundation shares a positive approach to brain injury prevention and healing. Their programs are designed to build community, foster resilience, and help people understand the importance of loving your brain.