An already record-setting year of fundraising for the Burbank Arts for All Foundation continued this month in the form of another large donation.
Foundation board member Alexandra Helfrich and co-chair Tom Vice presented the Burbank Unified school board with a symbolically large check for $95,514.81 in what was the nonprofit’s 24th grant cycle.
“We all look forward to seeing the impact that each of these projects has on students, teachers and school sites throughout BUSD,” Helfrich said.
It was the largest-ever combined donation for school-site improvements in the foundation’s history, which dates back to 2006, according to Saundra Montijo, the foundation’s program and outreach manager.
By comparison, the district awarded $14,156 in grants last fall.
In between the fall fundraising drives, Burbank Arts for All rallied for its largest gift ever, a $100,000 donation to the district in February to help save three elementary-school music positions.
All three teaching positions, set to be eliminated because of budget cuts, were eventually spared.
“I say it over and over again, the board has laid a big vision for arts in this community and our community partners, like Burbank Arts for All, keep pushing us to make sure arts are the core of this district,” Burbank Unified. Supt. Matt Hill said after the check presentation.
“Tonight is another example of how, when the community rallies together, you can raise great funds so our kids can do amazing work,” he added.
For this fundraising cycle, the foundation awarded 19 grants to six elementary schools, three middle schools and two high schools.
The schools were Disney, Edison, Harte, Miller, Providencia and Washington elementary schools, Jordan, Luther Burbank and Muir middle schools and Burbank and Burroughs high schools.
Some grants were repetitive.
For instance, some Washington students will take a field trip to the 24th Street Theatre in Los Angeles, while the school will also host an artist in residence from the theater for six weeks for the second time in three years.
Harte, Miller and Providencia will use their grants to paint campus murals, while one of Burbank High’s three grants is slated for construction of a mosaic wall.
At least one grant will be used for basic equipment as Burroughs will use its funding for music stands and instrument racks, with those dollars coming via donations dedicated to the memory of district music teacher Hal Wetherwax.
“Many of the grants funded by the foundation were also matched with funding from school site principals,” Helfrich said.
One reason behind this fall’s increased funding was a partnership between the foundation, the city of Burbank and Warner Bros.
The latter two entities helped fund grants that aligned with the city’s Burbank Art in Public Places ordinance, passed in 1992.
The ordinance allows developers to set aside a portion of their fees to public-arts projects.