Originally published in the Outlook newspaper, June 2023
ArtCenter President Karen Hofmann (right) presented an honorary ArtCenter donor pen- cil to Pasadena Art Alliance President Annaly Bennett in recognition of a $1 million giv- ing milestone. PAA has supported ArtCenter student scholarships and exhibitions with grants for nearly 50 years. [© ArtCenter College of Design/Juan Posada]Pasadena Art Alliance (PAA) has become one of the most generous financial supporters of ArtCenter College of Design with a recent grant that brings a nearly 50- year record of giving to more than $1 million. The PAA ArtCenter partnership began in 1976, the same year the College opened the campus in the hills above the Rose Bowl. ArtCenter President Ka- ren Hofmann acknowledged the $1 million giving milestone at a special ceremony at PAA’s annual meeting on June 1st in Pasadena.
“We are deeply grateful to the Pasadena Art Alliance for this extraordinary history of giving to ArtCenter” said Hofmann. “Supporting our students through scholarships to increase access to an art and design education is a very meaningful way to support the next generation. PAA’s sponsorship of our exhibitions for so many years has helped us reach new audiences and made an impact on the cultural landscape of our region.”
The Pasadena Art Alliance’s partnership with ArtCenter has directly impacted scores of students.
“I am the first in my family to finish college and I want my children to be inspired,” said Elysabeth Bell who graduated in Spring 2022. “Both my parents were immigrants to this country and wanted to give us a better life. Getting my degree will not only help me, it will help my children continue to pursue the better life that my father risked every- thing for by escaping communism.”
Bell is now teaching painting workshops for ArtCenter’s Integrated Studies Pro- gram while in graduate school at the Claremont Colleges.
The students who received PAA scholarships throughout the years identify as first generation American, first-generation college students, single parents, men, women, White, Latino/Hispanic, Black/African American, American Alaskan Native and Asian. Many have become successful exhibiting artists including Crystal Whitehead, Julio Torano, Filip Kostic, Case Esparros and Jose Flores while others have gone on to pursue graduate degrees. The scholarship recipients have aspired to be art teachers, gallery owners and fine artists, to inspire positive change and be in a position one day to help other students achieve their dreams, as the PAA has helped them.
The honorary ArtCenter donor pencil recognizing the milestone was presented to Pasadena Art Alliance President Annaly Bennett. The pencil will be displayed on donor walls on both campuses and positioned among the College’s most generous supporters such as The Rose Hills Foundation, Fletcher Jones Foundation and individuals includ- ing Alyce de Roulet Williamson and Adelaide Hixon.
The $1 million milestone tipping point was reached with a recent PAA grant of
$32,000 to the College that included $17,000 to support exhibitions and $15,000 to fund Fine Art student scholarships.
In the nearly 50 years of supporting ArtCenter, PAA has donated $422,775 to support student scholarships; $514,500 to support the College’s Exhibitions program and another $67,366 was dedicated to a general restricted fund.
The Pasadena Art Alliance’s mission is to foster the appreciation of contempo- rary visual art in Southern California. PAA annually supports deserving visual arts or- ganizations throughout Los Angeles County through grants and awards programs.