Grant to fund arts education for youngest students

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Methow Arts Alliance announced last month that it received a three-year grant to provide arts education to students in kindergarten through third grade, at Methow Valley Elementary School and North Omak Elementary School.

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The $75,000 grant from the Icicle Fund will pay for two art instructors — one at each school — who will teach one hour of art per week.

The Icicle Fund commissioned a report in 2017 that detailed the state of arts education in Okanogan County and the Wenatchee Valley. In Okanogan County, the study concluded that students in elementary schools aren’t getting enough arts education. Neither Methow Valley nor North Omak Elementary have dedicated arts teachers. Meanwhile, nonprofit arts organizations such as Methow Arts are flourishing in the county, the report said.

Icicle Fund Executive Director Christine Morgan cited Methow Arts’ 30-year history providing artists in residence to Okanogan-area schools, saying the Twisp-based nonprofit is poised to help fill the gaps in arts education outlined in the 2017 report.

“The findings clearly point to specific areas of need, and Methow Arts was identified as the right organization to lead a pilot project to explore ways of addressing some of those needs,” Morgan said.

Methow Arts tapped Anne Venable to work at Methow Valley Elementary. She’s a certificated teacher who has been a Methow Arts artist in residence for the past few years.

“She’s the ideal person for this position,” Methow Arts Executive Director Amanda Jackson Mott said

The arts program is important because it will improve students’ broader education, said Methow Valley School District Superintendent Tom Venable, who happens to be Anne Venable’s husband.

The program at Methow Valley Elementary will enable students “to solve complex, real-world problems and to communicate their thoughts and ideas effectively,” Tom Venable said.

Arts education in the early grades improves problem solving and school retention in later years, Jackson Mott said. Teaching art also reduces bullying and improves communication between students and parents.

The grant expires after three years, but Venable and Jackson Mott said the school district and arts organization will devise ways to continue or even expand the program afterward.

“I’m optimistic … it will be a program that resonates with our students, staff, parents and community, and it will compel us to find capacity within our budget to ensure that it continues,” Venable said.





New Greenhouse nourishes Classroom in Bloom's mission

JUNE 19, 2019 BY METHOW VALLEY NEWS

Classroom in Bloom, the organic community garden based on the Methow Valley School District campus, hosted an open house on Saturday (June 15) to mark the completion of its new greenhouse.

The 24-by-72-foot greenhouse includes an attached mudroom, and is adjacent to a newly planted one-eighth-acre field. About 35 community members joined in the celebration to honor those that made the project possible.

Classroom in Bloom, the organic community garden based on the Methow Valley School District campus, hosted an open house on Saturday (June 15) to mark the completion of its new greenhouse.

The 24-by-72-foot greenhouse includes an attached mudroom, and is adjacent to a newly planted one-eighth-acre field. About 35 community members joined in the celebration to honor those that made the project possible.

“The greenhouse will enable Classroom in Bloom to add another educational goal to its existing social and environmental mission: students learning the value of green energy for our local and global economies,” Executive Director Kim Romain-Bondi said in a press release.

“The students will literally have ‘hands-on’ education about year-round food production in the Methow Valley. This new goal ties in perfectly with our existing vision: to connect children to sustainably grown food and the natural world to support the health of our people, place and planet.”

Romain-Bondi thanked all the local community volunteers for the cash, in-kind and labor donations that went into erecting the new structure. A cover will be placed over the greenhouse frame, Romain-Bondi said, and power and water service will be extended to the building. The passive solar greenhouse and expansion are expected to increase production for the nonprofit’s Farm to Cafeteria program by more than 30%, she said.

Methow Valley students currently harvest over 3,000 pounds of produce annually for the schools’ cafeterias and student snacks. Because 50% of the school district’s students are in the free and reduced meal program, the expected increase in production will provide even more of the freshest organic ingredients to the children of greatest need, Romain-Bondi said.

Currently, kindergarten through sixth-grade students take part in Classroom in Bloom programs. A recent grant from the Icicle Fund will allow the organization to develop year-round opportunities for Liberty Bell High School students as well, Romain-Bondi said Saturday.

For more information, visit www.classroominbloom.org.


Grant Applications due March 4, 2019

The Icicle Fund is now accepting applications for Initiative and Strategic Project grants. The deadline for both programs is March 4th.

The Fund awards grants to non-profit organizations who develop North Central Washington as a region where nature, the arts, and the area’s natural and human history encourage appreciation, understanding and stewardship of this special place. The Fund supports organizations in Chelan, Douglas, Okanogan and Grant counties.

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The Fund values projects and initiatives that foster a collaborative atmosphere, connect all peoples to place, and are aligned with the Icicle Fund mission. Through collaboration, the Icicle Fund increases the impact of organizations across this region. When mutually beneficial, exploration of collaborative relationships with one or more of the six Icicle Fund lead organizations is encouraged.

Initiative Grants are single-year grants of up to $7,500. The Fund’s goal is to contribute to smaller organizations’ ability to fill gaps in the community in the areas of arts, environment, and history. Project goals should be accomplished within the 1-year grant period.

Strategic Project grants are one or two-year grants of $15,000 or more. Grants are given to innovative, inspiring, and impactful organizations and projects in the areas of arts, environment, and history in NCW. The program goal is to enable organizations to work on a particular mission-centered and strategic project to create a significant, long-term impact on the organization and its local or regional community.

Additional information and application instruction can be found at www.iciclefund.org

Twenty years ago, the Icicle Fund was established by Harriet Bullitt. Today, the Fund remains committed to a sense of place as central to its mission. It is this belief that strong connections to the land and the communities in which we live are nurtured through artistic expression and imagination, an understanding of our past, and experience in and love for our natural landscapes and wildlife.

Business owner and Philanthropist Harriet Bullitt gifts Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort to Icicle Fund

LEAVENWORTH, Wash. November 27, 2018 –Harriet Bullitt, iconic philanthropist and the founder of many mission-driven businesses and non-profits, will transfer her ownership of the Sleeping Lady business to Icicle Fund effective December 31st, 2018.

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“Well I have to have a plan because I’m going to be 95 this year,” said Bullitt. “I want to pass on Sleeping Lady so the resort can keep growing, but not necessarily get bigger. I think it’s possible to grow by getting better rather than bigger”

Sleeping Lady is a 58-room destination resort and conference center outside Leavenworth, WA, and will continue to operate as a for-profit business, under the same management team.

Icicle Fund is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit that was founded by Harriet Bullitt to enhance the health and quality of all life in North Central Washington by engaging people with arts, history and the natural environment.

 

“For 20 years, Icicle Fund has connected locals and visitors to this special place by supporting more than 100 nonprofit organizations with over $40 million,” said Christine J. Morgan, Executive Director of Icicle Fund. “These organizations have conserved large areas of open space for the benefit of people and wildlife and have provided access to high quality arts experiences in this rural region. With Sleeping Lady as part of our team, we can support more charities in doing good.”

Starting January 1st, every time locals have a cup of cocoa at O’Grady’s after skiing this winter, dine at Kingfisher, use the Aspen Leaf Spa, or have a drink at The Grotto, they support Icicle Fund. This means that we can help even more local non-profits in providing wildfire preparedness, arts for kids and adults, hiking trails and open space, and many other community benefits that enhance the quality of life right here where we live. The same is the case for all the guests that come to visit our area and stay at Sleeping Lady – with their organization or for leisure. It is like benevolent night all day, every day!

“I feel proud when people walk up to me on the pathways of Sleeping Lady, telling me how much they enjoy staying here and how friendly and helpful all the employees are,” said Bullitt. “What they’re describing is what we envisioned when we designed the resort - a place for gathering with an enjoyable, calm atmosphere. I thank each person for their kind words and tell them I’ll pass it along, just as I am now passing along my vision for Sleeping Lady to the Icicle Fund.”

 

About Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort

Set on the banks of Icicle Creek, just outside of Leavenworth, WA. Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort was established by Harriet Bullitt in 1995 as a new kind of Pacific Northwest hideaway and conference center.  From the area’s Native American roots, to the 1930s when it was home to Camp Icicle and the Civilian Conservation Corps, to its role today as a leading Northwest destination resort, Sleeping Lady and the land it occupies enjoy a rich and storied past. The Resort embraces the site’s natural setting for visitors seeking an experience off the beaten path and was certified as a B Corporation in 2010, following in Harriet’s path of conservation. Leisure packages including accommodations, gourmet dinner and hearty breakfast start at $296 per night, based on double occupancy.  Complete Meeting Packages are available starting at $295 per night, based on single occupancy.  For more information, visit www.sleepinglady.com.

Twenty-three Organizations Receive Icicle Fund Awards

From July 2017 through June 2018 we awarded more than $1.4M to twenty-three nonprofit organizations. These organizations develop North Central Washington as a region where nature, the arts, and the area’s natural and human history encourage appreciation, understanding and stewardship of this special place.

The funding was awarded through three different avenues of Icicle Fund support: Initiative GrantsStrategic Project Grants, and Founding Organization Grants.

 

The organizations that received funding were:

Chelan-Douglas Land Trust

Chumstick Wildfire Stewardship Coalition

Classroom in Bloom

Columbia Basin Allied Arts

Community Foundation of North Central Washington

Confluence Gallery & Art Center

Conservation Northwest

HawkWatch International

Icicle Creek Center for the Arts

Mansfield Museum & Historical Society

Methow Arts Alliance

Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival

The Merc Playhouse Society

The Nature Conservancy

The Prodigy Project

Trust for Public Land

TwispWorks Foundation

Upper Valley Connection

Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition

Wenatchee River Institute

Wenatchee Row & Paddle Club

Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center

Western Rivers Conservancy

Over 30,000 Acres Protected

The Icicle Fund's land conservation partners-the Trust for Public Land, The Nature Conservancy, and the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust-reported that with the Fund's assistance they have been able to protect 30,147 acres in North Central Washington through fee acquisitions or conservation easements. The properties are located in the Wenatchee, Icicle, Entiat, Okanogan, and Methow watersheds, the Wenatchee Foothills, Stehekin, and the shrub-steppe on the Columbia Plateau.