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The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation Focuses on Native Communities, Education Initiatives in Latest Grant Cycle


Latest grants also focus on education, arts and support for low-income families

SEATTLE, Wash. – January 31, 2012 – The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation reaffirmed its commitment to the diverse communities of the Pacific Northwest with its latest round of grants announced today.

Out of a total of $6.6 million in grants, close to $1 million was given to innovative projects in Native American communities to confront serious challenges in those areas and to support their dynamism and resiliency. Several innovative projects, including a Native American-led radio program originating in Anchorage, Alaska and a microlender helping to grow tribal micro-enterprises, have received grants from The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.

In total, 58 grants in five program areas were issued as part of The Foundation’s giving cycle this fall.

“We've seen over the years that Native American and tribal communities face challenges that defy ordinary approaches,” said Susan M. Coliton, vice president of The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. “At the same time, these communities are characterized by great depth of cultural resources and strengths. To support them, The Foundation looked for programs that were working across the sectors, trying to better the lives of tribal community members.”

The grants include funding for Shorebank Enterprise Group of Ilwaco, Wash., for its Indian Country Initiative. This $240,000 grant will support the provision of loan capital and technical assistance to Native entrepreneurs. The initiative is working throughout the Northwest to build the economic strength of tribal communities and to ensure that Native people are able to fully participate in the regional economy.

In addition, The Foundation’s funding will help support the expansion of the Family Wellness Warriors Initiative provided by the Southcentral Foundation of Anchorage, Alaska. This $150,000 grant will go toward the evaluation of intervention efforts, designed by Alaska Natives, which are helping reduce family violence in the state’s rural and tribal communities. Just as important, funding from The Foundation will help determine the impact of the initiative on participants’ financial health and security.

Still other grant programs in this area are aimed at strengthening Native art programs. The Koahnic Broadcast Corporation of Anchorage reaches a large audience through its program Earthsongs, a radio broadcast that highlights the musical talent, creativity and resilience of today’s Native American artists. A $45,000 grant will help this program continue to be broadcast on 100 stations in 21 states.

The funding for Native American projects is part of the ongoing effort by The Foundation to focus on Arts and Culture, Asset Building and Emergency Relief, Education and Youth Engagement, Nonprofit Support and Science and International efforts. Since The Foundation’s inception in 1990, nearly $10 million in grants have focused on Native American projects.

Some of the other grants in this cycle include:

·         $400,000 to the creation of a new school in the Lake Washington School District in Seattle focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education.

·         30 arts and culture grants totaling $2.2 million, spanning a range of disciplines, from visual arts, film, theater and music.

·         A major capital grant to Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI). The $500,000 grant will help renovate the historic Naval Reserve Armory in South Lake Union as the new home of MOHAI.

“At the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation we focus our efforts on productive community initiatives that create opportunity,” said Coliton. “In a variety of ways, across a diverse set of focus areas, all of our work is focused on our longstanding mission to transform lives and strengthen communities.”

A full list of the Foundation’s latest grants is available at www.pgafamilyfoundation.org/grantlist.

About The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation

Launched by Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen and Jo Lynn Allen in 1988, the Allen family’s philanthropy is dedicated to transforming lives and strengthening communities by fostering innovation, creating knowledge and promoting social progress. Since inception, the Foundation has awarded over $438 million to more than 1,400 nonprofit groups to support and advance their critical charitable endeavors in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. The Foundation’s funding programs nurture the arts, engage children in learning, address the needs of vulnerable populations, advance scientific and technological discoveries, and provide economic relief amid the downturn. For more information, go to www.pgafamilyfoundation.org.

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