Illumination Fund Launches New $10 Million Arts In Health Initiative

ILLUMINATION FUND LAUNCHES NEW $10 MILLION ARTS IN HEALTH INITIATIVE

Building on its 10 years of supporting organizations that help improve the lives of New Yorkers, the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund (LMTIF) has launched a $10-million-dollar, multi-year initiative to support organizations working on health issues that impact New York communities and that emphasize the arts as a tool for healing. The new initiative focuses on three main issues in 2018: mental illness stigma, trauma, and aging related diseases.

“Decades of scientific study show that engagement in the arts provides cognitive, emotional and physical health benefits for people from youth to old age, but there are great disparities in access to services in New York City,” says Laurie M. Tisch, president and founder of LMTIF. “This initiative will help organizations doing important work with underserved populations, increase their ability to reach more people, and build awareness of the role the arts can play in healing. At our core, we are dedicated to using the arts to help build healthy and vibrant communities in New York City.”

New York City Organizations Connecting Arts in Health

To kick off the Arts in Health Initiative, LMTIF is providing initial grants to nine New York City organizations spanning disciplines such as visual art, film, community murals, theater, dance and other arts disciplines:

Says Laurie M. Tisch, “LMTIF is deeply committed to increasing access and opportunity in a range of issues, from access to healthy food, access to the arts and arts education, to economic opportunity. That’s why I created the foundation. As with other areas in which we have focused, in Arts and Health we see significant barriers to access, and issues of inequity, so we are funding programs that help overcome disparities in access to those in need.”

In addition to making grants, LMTIF will convene its grantee partners, health experts, New York City arts leaders, foundations, philanthropists and community partners to share ideas and demonstrate impact.  Each event will focus on a distinct theme and will showcase three of LMTIF’s new grantees.

The first gathering in the foundation’s Arts in Health initiative was held April 24th, at Hunter College’s Roosevelt House, in partnership with the Aspen Institute and Hunter College.  The gathering examined ways that the arts are addressing mental health stigma. The event featured leaders of three New York-based organizations and agencies working in the field: Community Access, Fountain House and the NYC Mural Arts Project at the Department of Health. Introductory remarks will be provided by Patrick Corrigan, author, Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and a foremost expert in mental health stigma who has authored or edited more than 400 peer-reviewed articles and 15 books on mental health.

“Many people with serious mental illness are challenged doubly,” says Dr. Corrigan. “On one hand, they struggle with the symptoms and disabilities that result from the disease. On the other, they are challenged by the stereotypes and prejudice that result from misconceptions about mental illness. As a result, people with mental illness are robbed of the opportunities that define a quality life: good jobs, safe housing, satisfactory health care, and affiliation with a diverse group of people.”

According to Corrigan, “The stigma of mental illness is first and foremost a social justice issue. Although stigmatizing attitudes are not limited to mental illness, the public seems to disapprove of persons with psychiatric disabilities significantly more than persons with related conditions such as physical illness. Severe mental illness has been likened to drug addiction, prostitution, and criminality.”

Corrigan’s research has identified several key ingredients to effective anti-stigma initiatives, including face-to-face contact, sharing stories about personal challenges, presenters with “lived experiences,” contact that includes a common goal, and having an uplifting message.  Those ingredients undergird the Changing Minds Young Filmmaker Competition, the NYC Mural Arts Project, and Fountain House Gallery.

Looking Ahead

On September 13, LMTIF will convene experts and stakeholders to discuss the role of the arts in addressing trauma at Hostos Community College in the Bronx, with the Art Therapy Project, Theater of War, and Gibney. On November 28th LMTIF will host a gathering to explore the role of the arts to help address aging-related diseases at the Mark Morris Dance Studio in Brooklyn, featuring Dance for PD (Parkinson’s disease), Arts and Minds, and The Creative Center at University Settlement.

 

 

Laurie Tisch Listed in Crain’s 50 Most Powerful Women in New York

Most Powerful Women 2017

Laurie Tisch makes her debut appearance on Crain’s 50 Most Powerful Women in New York list in the #15 spot. Crain’s recognized her commitment to philanthropic areas in education, arts and culture, nutrition and healthy food. Laurie said “My philanthropy comes from a fundamental belief that circumstances of birth should not limit life’s opportunities. It’s about [expanding] access and opportunity for all New Yorkers, whether that’s access to the arts, healthy food, education or economic opportunity.”  Crain’s will host a celebratory luncheon September 26.

 

The New York Times Profiles Laurie Tisch

Laurie Tisch, Collecting the Giants, of New York and Modern Art

The New York Times showcased Laurie Tisch’s commitment to the visual arts in a special profile in its Art & Design column. In addition to sharing her love of modern and contemporary American artists, which has been inspired by her role as a trustee of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the article also highlighted her decades of leadership in arts education. She gave shout-outs to the Children’s Museum of Manhattan and the Center for Arts Education, where she was the founding board chair, and she emphasized the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund’s focus in New York City.

Laurie Tisch Launches Children’s Book Drive

On November 30th, Laurie M. Tisch, honorary chair of the Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) read to 30-40 children, ages 3-4, at Union Johnson Early Learning Center in East Harlem, one of 24 CMOM Health and Learning hubs sponsored by LMTIF. The event kicked-off CMOM’s city-wide holiday book drive benefiting hubs at Head Start centers and homeless shelters throughout the City. Laurie also spoke with Fox 5 NY News  and encouraged everyone to support the book drive by dropping-off new children’s books, in English or Spanish, at the Children’s Museum (212 West 83rd Street) through February 9, 2018. Watch the segment here.

It is a sad fact that 1 in 4 children in the US don’t learn to read. Literacy is an essential building block for a successful, healthy life, and with LMTIF support,  the 24 Health and Learning Hubs of the Children’s Museum of Manhattan provide important services, including arts, and literacy programs, to children in Head Start programs and homeless shelters across New York City in every borough.  Today, the Children’s Museum kicked off its holiday book drive at the Union Johnson Early Learning Center, the first learning hub for CMOM. Laurie Tisch read stories (in English and Spanish) and gave books to about 40 children ages 3 and 4, and then the children participated in artmaking and music programs. At the end of the book drive, February 9, 2018, children in the learning hubs will each receive a book to take home and read with their families.

Seventh Annual Joan H. Tisch Community Health Prize Winners

On October 12, a ceremony and reception was held in honor of this year’s recipients of the seventh annual Joan H. Tisch Community Health Prize. These awards are given to individuals and nonprofit organizations in the New York metropolitan area for distinguished accomplishment in urban public health.  The 2017 recipients are the Mary Mitchell Family and Youth Center in the Bronx and Diane Arneth, Executive Director of Community Health Action of Staten Island and Chief Community Services Officer of Brightpoint Health.

Mary Mitchell Family and Youth Center (MMFYC) serves the primarily nonwhite Crotona neighborhood of the Bronx. When its Teen Council researched the diets of children in the area in recent years, it found that fully half would likely develop diabetes in their lifetimes. Inspired to action by the results, the MMFYC empowered the Teen Council and community at large to create a health initiative to support health choices for individuals and collaboration among community leaders to ensure an environment where healthy options were available. The initiative includes a highly successful food buying club, support of a local farmers market, plus other efforts to increase access to healthy food and make systemic change. By expanding opportunities, developing leadership, and building community, it is the goal of the board, staff, and youth of the Center to change the environment of Crotona without gentrification so its residents can achieve “complete physical, mental and social wellbeing” as defined by the World Health Organization.

Diane Arneth, is the Executive Director of the Community Health Action of Staten Island (CHASI) and Chief Community Services Officer of Brightpoint Health. Arneth has consistently demonstrated her ability to address public health challenges as they emerge. As executive director for CHASI for the past twenty-six years, Arneth has overseen the growth of the organization from its earliest days, when it operated with a budget of only $150,000, to the multi-site, multi-service agency it is today, with a budget of $11.2 million. She has been a passionate and committed advocate for the residents of State Island, 20,000 of whom are served annually by the comprehensive range of services her organization provides, including case management, comprehensive substance use disorder services, emergency food and benefits assistance, HIV, HCV, and diabetes testing and prevention services for 20,000 Staten Islanders annually.

The awards were presented by President Raab, Laurie Tisch, Lilliam Barrios-Paoli, and Harold Holzer, the Jonathan F. Fanton Director at Roosevelt House. The Joan H. Tisch Community Health Prize is made possible with support from the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund. The Prize is a tribute to Joan H. Tisch in recognition of her humanitarian activism in health care and social services in New York City.

Philanthropy News Digest: 5 Questions for Laurie Tisch

Philanthropy News Digest: 5 Questions for Laurie Tisch

The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund is approaching its tenth anniversary, and with this milestone in mind Laurie Tisch spoke with Foundation Center’s Jen Bokoff to reflect on the foundation’s impact and its future. Laurie shared that the NYC Green Cart Initiative was a defining grant for the foundation. The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund funded this public/private partnership with a $1.5 million grant in 2008 to bring fresh produce to underserved New York City neighborhoods. It also served as a catalyst for starting the Healthy Food & Community Change initiative to support innovative strategies to increase access, availability, affordability, and knowledge of healthy foods and promote healthy choices in high-need neighborhoods. The Illumination Fund is now expanding its arts funding. But this is all within the foundation’s mission because as Laurie says her grant making philosophy is “It’s about leveling the playing field. It’s not about a specific program area.”

Conversation on the Future of Journalism with Andrew Lack and Rebecca Blumenstein

On June 6th, Aspen Institute’s Walter Isaacson sat down with Andrew Lack, Chairman of NBC News and MSNBC, and Rebecca Blumenstein, Deputy Managing Editor of The New York Times to discuss the future of journalism in a difficult financial and political climate. Both Andrew and Rebecca  noted that media coverage has changed since the election and consumers are beginning to realize that they may need to pay for truthful and factual news. With both organizations thriving under media scrutiny, the New York Times added 300,000 new subscribers in the first quarter; and in the fourth quarter of last year added more than the entire 2012 and 2013 combined.

The event took place at Hunter College’s Roosevelt House, and is part of the Leadership Series in memory of Preston Robert Tisch sponsored by Steve Tisch, Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch, and the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund. Watch the full conversation here.

In Search of Israeli Cuisine Opening Weekend

The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund is excited to announce the New York theatrical opening of In Search of Israeli Cuisine on March 24th at Lincoln Plaza Cinema and Angelika Film Center. The film has already been shown at more than 100 festivals and special screenings around the world.

Filmmaker Roger Sherman explores the vibrant and up-and-coming culinary scene in Israel with chef/guide, Michael Solomonov of Zahav Restaurant in Philadelphia. Throughout the film, Sherman discovers the surprisingly diverse and beautiful food traditions of Israeli people—Moroccan, Persian, Lebanese, French, Italian, and Russian—Jewish, Arab, Palestinian, Christian, Druze.

Roger is a founder of Florentine Films; his films have won a James Beard Award, an Emmy, a Peabody, and two Academy Award nominations.

The Laurie M. Illumination Fund funded the film to support constructive expression, cultural exploration and communication.

Showtimes

Opens Friday, March 24
New York City – Lincoln Plaza Cinema
New York City – Angelika Film Center

Opens Friday, March 31
Los Angeles – Laemmle’s Royal
Encino – Laemmle’s Town Center 5
Irvine, CA – Edwards Westpark 8
San Francisco – Opera Plaza Cinema
Berkeley – Shattuck Cinemas
Philadelphia – Landmark Ritz Five

Opens Friday, April 7
Chicago, IL – Music Box Theatre
Highland Park, IL  Renaissance Place
Minneapolis – Edina Cinema
St. Louis, MO – Plaza Frontenac Cinema
Malverne, NY – Malverne Cinema
Maplewood, NJ – Maplewood Theatre
Kew Gardens, NY – Kew Gardens

Opens Friday, April 21
San Diego – Ken Cinema
Washington, DC – Bethesda Row Cinema
Cambridge – Kendall Square Cinema
Boston – West Newton Cinema
Atlanta – Midtown Cinema

Opens Friday, April 23
Jenkinton, PA – Hiway Theater

Opens Friday, May 12
Denver – Landmark Theatres

Grantees NEBHDCo and Green City Force Featured on an Episode of NBC’s Give

Did you ever think you’d see a TV reality show about philanthropy and nonprofits?

Well, now there is one!  It’s called Give, and we and two of our grantees were featured on January 14.

Give is part of the NBC network’s new programming block “The More You Know.”  Give highlights the world of philanthropy by featuring the stories of high-impact nonprofit organizations around the country.  Blair Underwood is the Executive Producer, and his co-host is Jenna Bush Hager.

In each episode, a celebrity ambassador visits two nonprofits that use innovation, best practices and dedication for change in their communities and the world.  Give’s producers invited the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund to nominate two organizations that share our mission – to increase access and opportunity for all New Yorkers.

Jenna visited Brooklyn to meet NEBHDCo at its Golden Harvest Client-Choice Food Pantry in Bed-Stuy and Green City Force’s Urban Farm Corps at New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) farm in Canarsie. Laurie Tisch joined Jenna, Blair and consultant Joan Garry to discuss Jenna’s site visits.

These organizations work to increase access to healthy food and economic opportunity in New York City’s economically challenged neighborhoods.  We’re thrilled that they received this recognition.

• NEBHDCo is one of five neighborhood-based community development corporations (CDC’s) that were convened by LISC NYC to create Communities for Healthy Food (CfHF).  LISC NYC’s Communities for Healthy Food is a place-based initiative that integrates access to healthy and affordable food into every aspect of the CDC’s comprehensive community development work.  The Give episode showcases NEBHDCo’s TurnUp Program, a component of its Growing Youth Power Project – a year-round holistic food justice project for youth ages 13 – 18.

• Green City Force is a nationally recognized Brooklyn-based organization that recruits 18-24 year old NYCHA housing residents for rigorous workforce training and AmeriCorps service positions leading to jobs in the sustainability sector.  Their flagship programs are the Clean Energy Corps and the Urban Farm Corps.  In 2016, Urban Farm Corps members built three new farms as a part of NYCHA’s Urban Agriculture Initiative and the City’s Building Healthy Communities initiative, led by the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Partnerships with the Fund for Public Health.  The Urban Farm Corps engages NYCHA residents and community members and encourages healthy eating through nutrition education, hands-on activities, and community-wide events.

Watch the full episode here.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor Receives Preston Robert Tisch 2016 Award in Civic Leadership

On December 8th, Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, received the Preston Robert Tisch Award in Civic Leadership for her distinguished career of judicial service. As the first Latina justice, Sotomayor explained how her upbringing in the South Bronx and her Puerto Rican identity, as well as her experiences as Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office and as a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, informed her concern for the rights of defendants and impassioned dissents supporting equality. During these divisive times, she encouraged the audience to see these challenging events as an opportunity “to get up and figure out what we have to do right, to get up and work harder at the things we believe are right, and to get up and go out and challenge the things we think are wrong.”

The event took place at the MoMA and was moderated by Walter Isaacson. The program is an annual Aspen Institute Award in memory of Preston Robert Tisch sponsored by Steve Tisch, Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch, and the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.

Watch the program here.

The Preston Robert Tisch Award in Civic Leadership presented to Justice Sonia Sotomayor. The Aspen Institute. Friday, December 9, 2016, 6:30pm, Museum of Modern Art, NYC. Credit Photo: Erin Baiano
The Preston Robert Tisch Award in Civic Leadership presented to Justice Sonia Sotomayor. The Aspen Institute. Friday, December 9, 2016, 6:30pm, Museum of Modern Art, NYC. Credit Photo: Erin Baiano