After presenting John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men” to an enthralled audience at the 31st International Steinbeck Festival in Salinas on Aug. 7, Poetic Justice Project actors have been invited back to open for writer Luis J. Rodriguez next month.
Poetic Justice Project, a theatre company of formerly incarcerated actors, will present scenes from their musical drama “Off The Hook,” set inside a California prison. The event begins at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at Sherwood Hall, 940 N. Main St. in Salinas. Tickets are $10 for Steinbeck Center members, $15 for non-members and $7 for students with IDs. Call 831.775.4726 or purchase online at steinbeckstore.org.
Luis J. Rodriguez is convinced that a writer can change the world. Through education and the power of words, Rodriguez saw his own way out of poverty and despair in the barrio of East L.A. An award-winning poet, he shares his story in his memoir, “Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A.,” which explores the lure of gang life.
His other books include “Hearts and Hands: Creating Community in Violent Times” and “It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way: A Barrio Story.” His sequel to “Always Running” will be released in October and is titled “It Calls You Back: A Writer’s Odyssey through Love, Addictions, Recovery and Healing.”
Among his awards are a city of Los Angeles Arts Fellowship, a Sundance Institute Art Writers Fellowship, a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award, a Lannan Fellowship for Poetry, an Hispanic Heritage Award for Literature, an Algonquin West Literary Award, a California Arts Council Fellowship, the 2001 Premio Fronterizo, and an Unsung Heroes of Compassion Award, presented by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
A program of the William James Association, based in Santa Cruz, Poetic Justice Project creates original theatre examining crime, punishment and redemption with formerly incarcerated writers, artists, musicians and actors. Currently in production is “Women Behind the Walls,” written by Claire Braz-Valentine.
SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA – The San Luis Obispo County Community Foundation (SLOCCF), an organization established in 1998 and dedicated to the quality of life in the community, has recently purchased and moved into the historic Barneberg House at 550 Dana St. in downtown San Luis Obispo. The new offices bring to life the theme of the SLOCCF’s most recent annual report, “Inspired by the Past, Creating the Future.”
“When this opportunity became available to us, we knew it was a perfect fit,” explained Executive Director Barry VanderKelen. “This historic home has deep, strong
roots in the same community we are committed to supporting and enhancing.” VanderKelen adds, “Owning our building will enable us to put more resources towards supporting the nonprofit community. It was with the help of the Hind Foundation and the Duenow Family that we were able to secure the building, and many others have also contributed to this effort, knowing that the Community Foundation will be here – for good, and for ever.”
The SLOCCF is the third owner of the Barneberg House and plans to preserve this cultural treasure. The 4,350 square feet gives the Community Foundation plenty of room to grow, and also enables them to make meeting space available for nonprofits and community groups to use.
For more information about SLOCCF, log onto www.sloccf.org or call (805) 543-2323.
Local Organization Meets Rigorous Standards for Quality and Accountability
San Luis Obispo, CA – San Luis Obispo County Community Foundation (SLOCCF) recently received notification that it has met the nation’s highest philanthropic standards for operational quality, integrity and accountability. The notice comes from the Community Foundations National Standards Board, a national accreditation organization based in Arlington, Va.
“This is similar to the Good Housekeeping Seal for community foundations,” said Diane Miller, manager, Community Foundations National Standards Board. “It says that San Luis Obispo County Community Foundation has demonstrated a commitment to operational quality, integrity and accountability.”
The National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations program requires community foundations to document their policies for donor services, investments, grantmaking and administration. Not all community foundations are eligible to apply for this certification, and not all applicants pass the review. The program is designed to provide quality assurance to donors, as well as to their legal and financial advisors.
SLOCCF originally earned this designation five years ago, and was among the first community foundations in the United States to be acknowledged for this level of operational excellence. It is the only community foundation in San Luis Obispo County with this distinction.
“This is critically important to our community,” said Barry VanderKelen, SLOCCF executive director. “When people partner with us to fulfill their philanthropic intentions by making a charitable bequest, establishing a fund, or setting up an annuity, they are putting their trust in us. They are counting on us to manage the investment wisely, honor their charitable wishes and, in some cases, provide lifetime income to a loved one. The National Standards confirmation says our house is in order.”
SLOCCF offers a range of charitable tools that assist donors in strategically advancing causes such as education or the environment, supporting individual non-profit organizations, providing flexible support for community needs, or recommending individual grants. In addition to affirming the organization’s philanthropic services, this confirmation validates SLOCCF’s grantmaking practices for the nonprofit community.
“Some say it’s easier to create wealth than to give money away wisely,” said Dee Lacey, SLOCCF board president. “There’s some truth in that because grantmaking is a lot like investing — we need to assess risks, weigh potential gains, diversify assets, monitor performance and operate fairly. When you see the National Standards Seal, you are assured that we’re committed to meeting the highest standards for these activities.”
The National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations program is the first of its kind for charitable foundations in the United States.
Through the vision and guidance of the original founding members in 1998, SLOCCF has raised the impact of charitable giving to new heights in the local community. In only 13 years, SLOCCF has granted over $16 million to the community through its 200 funds and scholarships. For more information on the SLOCCF or any of its individual funds, call (805) 543-2323 or log onto www.sloccf.org.
The Community Foundations National Standards Board is a supporting organization of the Council on Foundations that administers and advances National Standards for U.S. Community FoundationsÔ by ensuring the integrity of the accreditation process and building the value of compliance. Visit www.cfstandards.org for more information about the program and organization.