The Right Brain Initiative

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How one company supports arts education two ways.

July 1st, 2013 by Becky Thomas


For non-profits like Right Brain, there’s not much better for the health and longevity of our organization than a giant check. Support from corporations makes up about 15% of our budget. Recently, we’ve been inspired to see businesses in our Portland community even go beyond the big check, taking cues from our innovative programs and from their own employees to increase the impact of their contributions.

Take our corporate partner Bank of America. The Bank of America Foundation has been a wonderful contributor to the Right Brain cause, contributing $62,500 since our first year in schools. Last week, the Foundation brought us our biggest check yet, for $20,000. This grant will enable Right Brain to bring arts education programs to new schools in the 2013-14 school year.

Monique Barton, Senior Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at Bank of America; RACC Executive Director Eloise Damrosch; and RACC Board Chair Lina Garcia Seabold celebrate a $20,000 grant to The Right Brain Initiative from The Bank of America Foundation

The foundation support means a lot to the stability and growth of our organization, but that’s not all! This year, thanks to a local BofA employee, the company took their support a step further, engaging their workforce to increase contributions and awareness.

We recently launched a series of Dine in for Right Brain events to increase awareness and support of our work as part of our Imagination Fund campaign. Most folks hosted dinner parties with friends where they discussed Right Brain’s work and the impact of arts education on our kids and community. But Katherine Drew, a member of our Development Committee and a Merrill Lynch employee (Merrill Lynch is owned by BofA) realized she could take the Dine In series to a new level with BofA’s help.

James John students joined Katherine Drew and her Merrill Lynch colleagues to talk about Right Brain and eat ice cream. Local Merrill Lynch employees came together to support our Imagination Fund, with matching funds from the Bank of America.

Katherine and her co-workers—including mother Jane Drew—got creative and threw us a fundraising ice cream party at their office! Employees donated, and BofA matched their contributions, doubling the impact. We were lucky enough to be joined by some students from Right Brain school James John Elementary (St. Johns), and maybe it was all the sugar, but everyone was pumped up about what we can accomplish when everybody chips in.

It makes sense for businesses to invest in a thriving community, and Bank of America knows that our arts integration programs are preparing kids to think and contribute and succeed in their future careers. Whole communities—schools, non-profits and businesses—coming together for a better future: everybody wins!


BofA has a history of collaborating with us on interesting projects. Remember our installation at the branch in Oak Grove? Read more about that here.

   

Becky Thomas