SEATTLE—The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation today announced recipients of the Foundation’s inaugural Creative Leadership Awards, which salute future-focused thinking and adept work by individuals and community organizations.
The awardees are Sandra Jackson-Dumont, deputy director of education and public programs at Seattle Art Museum, and Deidre Holmberg, principal at Delta High School in Richland, Wash. Also honored are Literary Arts and Portland YouthBuilders, both in Portland, Ore. Each awardee’s nonprofit organization will receive $50,000 from the Foundation.
The Foundation posted a video about the awardees and their innovative approaches at http://bit.ly/CreativeLeadershipAward.
“We were looking for organizations that are successfully adapting in light of financial and other challenges that face many nonprofits,” said Susan M. Coliton, vice president of The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. “They have found ways to thrive in this new environment by taking risks.”
At Seattle Art Museum, Jackson-Dumont produced Remix—a routinely sold-out, late-night social event that combines entertainment and art-making—and convened a new Teen Advisory Group to engage young audiences.
At Delta High (a nationally-recognized public school funded by three districts and public/private partnerships), Holmberg has focused on rigorous grading and brought industry-level engineering and technology instruction to the school, while also fostering teacher collaboration and community engagement.
Literary Arts expanded its audience through a partnership with Oregon Public Broadcasting and a monthly storefront reading series. Although it reduced in-school writer residencies, it increased the number of students served with new publishing and public reading opportunities.
Portland YouthBuilders strengthened its core program that trains high school dropouts in building and construction trades through new computer tech and job readiness projects.
The 2012 Creative Leadership awardees embody principles the Foundation highlighted in its recent “Bright Spots Leadership in the Pacific Northwest” report. That report, available at http://bit.ly/BrightSpots, found that Bright Spots organizations share five fundamental principles:
-- a clear purpose and compelling vision;
-- commitment to their greater communities;
-- the ability to realistically assess circumstances and see possibilities where others do not;
-- flexibility about how to realize their mission; and
-- transparent leadership in their organizations.
The awardees were selected from 134 nominations made through a public process and open to individuals and organizations in five northwest states.
“Creative leadership is an orientation that says nothing is too precious to change, or too difficult to tackle, as long as it advances your mission and enables you to serve your goals,” Coliton said.
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About The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation
Launched by Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen and Jo Lynn Allen in 1988, the Allen family’s philanthropy is dedicated to transforming lives and strengthening communities by fostering innovation, creating knowledge and promoting social progress. Since inception, the Foundation has awarded over $446 million to more than 1,400 nonprofit groups to support and advance their critical charitable endeavors in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. The Foundation’s funding programs nurture the arts, engage children in learning, address the needs of vulnerable populations, advance scientific and technological discoveries, and provide economic relief amid the downturn. For more information, go to www.pgafamilyfoundation.org.
Chris Nelson, Pyramid Communications