15 Sep 2014
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Greenbelt Community Foundation Brings Ideas to Fruition

The Greenbelt Community Foundation presented checks for grant awards at its annual tea on Sunday afternoon.

At its annual tea, the Greenbelt Community Foundation awarded grants for an animated video being created by Greenbelt youth for the city’s 75th Anniversary and for a program that will bring three artists into Greenbelt Elementary School. 

They also collected the pledges that provide money for future grants, from an audience of more than 100 that filled the Grand Ballroom on Sunday afternoon.

Shayna Skolnik, the designer of Greenbelt’s 75th Anniversary logo — a hand-held seedling — said the logo reflects the foundation’s theme of providing money to people and organizations to nurture their seedling ideas. The logo was displayed at the ceremony.

Barbara Simon, president of the Greenbelt Association for the Visual Arts (GAVA), said one such seedling, the video, is about superheroes and supervillians fighting over the future of Greenbelt. The video will be shown in October 2012, as part of the Utopia Film Festival. Simon received a grant check for George Kochell, instructor of the Greenbelt Access Television (GATE) GAVA/GATE Animation Program, who was busy at the GATE studio.  

Greenbelt Elementary School parent Mimi Noorani received a check for $3,786.50 for Greenbelt artist Ann Potter’s “Arts in Action Two” project.

The project, funded by the foundation last year, will bear fruit on March 9 when eight 5th graders at Springhill Lake Elementary School perform at a Women’s Day Celebration. They will use stories from the oral histories of their neighbors as well as dance, artistic director Angella Foster told Patch at the ceremony. 

Foster said she wants the 5th graders to see themselves as part of Greenbelt’s evolving history. She said the theater has two other related projects. One will be a “Home Town Heroes: 75 Years of Extraordinary Greenbelt Women” program at the Greenbelt Museum in June and July. The final project will incorporate elements of the first two projects into an exhibit at the Community Center, using museum artifacts, videos, recordings of the children of Greenbelt’s pioneer families and current day thoughts of Greenbelt residents, Foster said.

But Foster said the theater needs to collect $1,678 by April 1, to receive matching funds, as explained on the theater’s website: www.alightdancetheater.org

Advisory board chair Dorrie Bates said the foundation has helped start such creative projects over seven years, giving out more than $80,000 to date. She said the next deadline for grant applications is April 15, 2012.

Former councilmember Tom White, a member of the original foundation advisory board and a current board member, said the Greenbelt Farmers Market was one of the first grantees, in 2007, and is a good example because it became self-sustaining after receiving the grant. Grant amounts can vary from $500 to $5,000. 

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