Better Together: Burbank Arts For All And Burbank Educational Foundations Announce Merger

By On October 1, 2020

Burbank Arts For All Foundation and Burbank Educational Foundation announced their merger into a single entity, the Burbank Arts & Education Foundation, along with the “Better Together” fundraising campaign, on Thursday, October 1.

The newly formed Foundation will continue work to support public education in Burbank schools, combining their Executive Boards and streamlining fundraising efforts.

The Burbank Arts & Education Foundation’s new Executive Board includes Co-Chairs Ana Connell and Bob Mohler, along with Carrie Brown, Brenda Etterbeek, Alexandra Helfrich, Elena Hubbell, Freddy Jarjour, Amy Kamm, Linda Matsumoto, Linda Rosen, Caroline Solberg, Art St. Germain, Jill Vander Borght and Tom Vice.

The Burbank Arts & Education Foundation merges staff from the Burbank Arts For All Foundation and the Burbank Educational Foundation to form a single entity devoted to supporting public education in Burbank schools. The new board includes (from left to right): Bob Mohler, Art St Germain, Ana Connell, Carrie Brown, Brenda Etterbeek, Alexandra Helfrich, Tom Vice, Caroline Solberg and Jill Vanderborght. Not pictured are Elena Hubbell, Freddy Jarjour, Amy Kamm, Linda Matsumoto and Linda Rosen. (Photo By Ross Benson)

“We want to see a strategic, cultural shift in how we support our schools by leveraging the assets of our community to fill gaps and level the playing field – supporting creativity, equity, inclusion and diversity for all BUSD students,” commented Connell and Mohler in a joint statement. “We are confident that we can better engage and inspire the community to further invest in meeting the diverse educational needs of all BUSD students under one united front. Simply put, we believe we are better together.”

The merger has been several months in the works. The new Foundation will continue to support arts education, STEM programs and student safety and wellness, along with other needs within the Burbank Unified School District.

The Burbank Educational Foundation was established in 1982 to raise money for BUSD. In recent years, the Foundation has provided more than $437,000 in funds to Burbank public schools in support of STEM programs, teacher classroom grants, SAT Prep classes and more.

Founded in 2006, the Burbank Arts for All Foundation worked to help give every student a quality arts education as part of their core curriculum in BUSD. To date, the Foundation has given more than $758,000 in funds to Burbank schools supporting visual, media and performing art programs, artist in residency programs, arts integration programs, professional development for teachers, facility upgrades and strategic planning for BUSD’s Arts For All plan.

The Board of the newly formed Burbank Arts & Education Foundation are (left to right, back row): Art St Germain, Carrie Brown, Caroline Soberg, Alexandra Helfrich and Jill VanderBorght (front row): Bob Mohler (co-chair), Ana Connell (co-chair), Brenda Etterbeek and Tom Vice. Not pictured are Elena Hubbell, Freddy Jarjour, Amy Kamm, Linda Matsumoto and Linda Rosen. (Photo By Ross Benson)

“Burbank’s students and teachers have benefited greatly over the years from the financial support, advocacy work and community leadership of these outstanding nonprofits. The district is thrilled that these two organizations have joined together to ensure a brighter future for our students and our city,” commented Burbank Unified Superintendent Matt Hill. “We look forward to the support and partnership of the Burbank Arts & Education Foundation as we tackle the challenges facing our students – together.”

The new Foundation’s “Better Together” direct donation campaign seeks to raise $125,000 during the month of October. More information on the campaign can be found on the Burbank Arts & Education Foundation website.

As 12:00 p.m. on October 1, Better Together has raised nearly $60,000, almost half of the campaign’s goal for the 30-day fundraiser.

“We would not be where we are today without the generous support of our community,” added Connell and Mohler. “We hope they will continue advocating for and investing in the next generation of thinkers, creators and doers. We can and we must build a better future for our children – together.”

The Burbank Arts & Education Foundation includes many Burbank parents and community leaders participating on Advisory, Community Outreach, Development, Finance, Governance, Grants & Giving, Investment, Marketing and Programming committees. Three advisory committees for Arts, STEM and Safety and Wellness will include community and Executive Board members.

More information on the newly formed Burbank Arts & Education Foundation can be found on their website.