ROCHESTER, NY — A gift of $3,263,000 from the Catherine Filene Shouse Foundation will go to the Eastman School of Music to support and extend the School’s innovative Arts Leadership Program.
The funding, which will be given over three years, is the foundation’s first endowment grant as well as the largest single grant ever received from a foundation by the School. The Catherine Filene Shouse Foundation, established in 1989 to further the performing arts and education, has supported the internship component of Eastman’s Arts Leadership Program since it was established in 1996.
“We are, of course, very grateful to the foundation for this generous gift,” said Eastman Director James Undercofler. “It’s also an enormous honor to have Catherine Filene Shouse’s name associated with a program that offers so much to our students.”
The newly named Catherine Filene Shouse Arts Leadership Program prepares students not only to perform and to teach, but also to assume leadership roles in arts organizations. The program includes internships with arts organizations, guest presentations, and courses such as “Entertainment Law and Music,” “Entrepreneurship in Music,” “Politics of Art,” and “Artistic Programming for the Symphony Orchestra: Balancing Artistic Goals with Financial Realities.”
“By providing a broad exposure to a variety of music-related topics, students develop a comprehensive understanding of the arts world,” said Douglas Dempster, founding director of Eastman’s Arts Leadership Program. “This background is invaluable as they begin careers in any area of music, whether onstage or behind the scenes.”
The 70 alumni of the program have found performing and administrative positions with notable arts organizations including Columbia Artists Management, the Atlanta Symphony, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra Institute, the Juilliard School, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Some are now in graduate school.
“To meet the needs of today’s complex world, our nation’s arts organizations need the talents of creative young people who understand the practical realities of the arts,” said Alice F. Emerson, president of the Catherine Filene Shouse Foundation. “Eastman’s Catherine Filene Shouse Arts Leadership Program prepares students for the challenges they’ll face.”
Future additions to the program that will be made possible with the support of the Catherine Filene Shouse Foundation include:
· An annual distinguished guest lecture series to be named in honor of Mrs. Shouse;
· Curriculum-development grants for faculty;
· An “externship” component comprising post-graduation internships and professional development opportunities for young alumni.
Catherine Filene Shouse, one of the most influential American women of the 20th century, was an adviser to 15 presidents, a visionary and dynamic advocate for humanitarian causes and a generous benefactor of the arts.
She was the first woman to receive a master of education degree from Harvard University, the first woman appointed to the National Democratic Committee, and the only woman in the 20th century to have been named Dame Commander of the British Empire and awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian awards in both Great Britain and the United States. She also received many prestigious awards, citations and honors from other nations and organizations. Her book, Careers for Women, was first published in 1920, and she actively promoted career training and career opportunities throughout her life.
Mrs. Shouse donated 100 acres of her Virginia farmland outside of Washington, D.C., and funds for construction of the Filene center amphitheater for creation of Wolf Trap ¾ the only national park for the performing arts and related education programs ¾ which opened July 1,1971. Even since her death in 1994 just months before her 99th birthday, Mrs. Shouse continues to receive honors for her lifelong contributions in many fields.
Eastman’s Arts Leadership Program also receives endowment support from the Starr Foundation.
Established in 1921 by George Eastman, founder of Eastman Kodak Co., the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., has achieved international prominence including the top ranking in the U.S. News and World Report survey of the nation’s best graduate schools. Five Eastman-trained composers and three faculty members have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for music, and the School’s graduates are members of all of America’s leading orchestras. Each year, the Eastman School presents more than 700 concerts by guest artists, faculty members and talented student ensembles. The School’s Community Education Division provides musical instruction at all levels for children and adults.
Note: A black-and-white photo of Mrs. Shouse is available upon request.