The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund is approaching its tenth anniversary, and with this milestone in mind Laurie Tisch spoke with Foundation Center's Jen Bokoff to reflect on the foundation’s impact and its future. Laurie shared that the NYC Green Cart Initiative was a defining grant for the foundation. The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund funded this public/private partnership with a $1.5 million grant in 2008 to bring fresh produce to underserved New York City neighborhoods. It also served as a catalyst for starting the Healthy Food & Community Change initiative to support innovative strategies to increase access, availability, affordability, and knowledge of healthy foods and promote healthy choices in high-need neighborhoods. The Illumination Fund is now expanding its arts funding. But this is all within the foundation’s mission because as Laurie says her grant making philosophy is “It's about leveling the playing field. It's not about a specific program area.”
Laurie Tisch makes her debut appearance on Crain's 50 Most Powerful Women in New York list in the #15 spot. Crain’s recognized her commitment to philanthropic areas in education, arts and culture, nutrition and healthy food. Laurie said “My philanthropy comes from a fundamental belief that circumstances of birth should not limit life’s opportunities. It’s about [expanding] access and opportunity for all New Yorkers, whether that’s access to the arts, healthy food, education or economic opportunity.” Crain's will host a celebratory luncheon September 26.
The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund is a champion of access to arts education in schools, because as Laurie says in this interview with MetroFocus “Arts should be a right, not a privilege.” The focus of this segment was our grantee Center for Arts Education’s Career Development Program that creates opportunities for exceptional high school seniors to participate in school-to-career activities in the arts and related industries. She was also joined by program alumni Kenneth Garcia and Deanna Siguenza, who shared their experiences in the program and the benefits it yielded them.
Inside Philanthropy profiled the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund within its New York City Funders section. The Foundation was highlighted for its commitment to inspiring new ideas and fresh approaches. The profile states that the Foundation “looks for innovative programs that transcend boundaries and operate within the borders of New York City.”
Dialogue 101: Laurie Tisch Discusses the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund and New York Women’s Foundation Honor
On October 13th, Laurie Tisch was honored by the New York Women’s Foundation. Leading up to the ceremony, she was interviewed by radio host Deb Gordon for CBS-FM. They discussed Laurie’s approach to philanthropy and the Illumination Fund’s programs, including access to healthy food, arts education, and economic opportunity. They also highlighted the support that Laurie and her daughters Emily and Carolyn have awarded to the New York Women’s Foundation’s programs to help working mothers with childcare issues.
The NYC Mayor’s Office of Strategic Partnerships is bringing together philanthropic funders and city agencies to work on public-private partnerships to address critical issues in New York. Among those initiatives is Building Healthy Communities, which is designed to promote health and wellness in 12 of the city’s most underserved neighborhoods. The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund has committed $500,000 to this initiative.
Laurie Tisch sat down for a conversation with her daughter Carolyn Tisch Blodgett for Huffington Post’s new parent-child video interview series Talk To Me. They discussed parenting, overcoming challenges, and philanthropy. Laurie’s parents instilled in her a responsibility and desire to perform charity and to help others, something she hopes to pass on to her daughters and grandchildren. In 2007 she founded the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, and says “My mission at the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund is to try and level the playing field and I’m very proud and fortunate that I’m able to do that.”
Since the launch of the Healthy Food & Community Change initiative, the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund has been committed to a holistic strategy to increasing healthy food access in New York City. In an op-ed piece for the Huffington Post, Laurie Tisch and Rick Luftglass emphasize the importance of collaboration and leadership development within the food access field to catalyze change. The Foundation’s dedication to these principles is bearing fruit, as several of our grantees and partners were included in the New York City Food Policy Center at Hunter College’s inaugural list of 40 Under 40: The Rising Stars in New York City Food Policy.
The op-ed was also featured in Philanthropy New York’s PhilanthroPost here.
Laurie Tisch and Kathryn Potts, Helena Rubinstein Chair of Education at the Whitney Museum, were interviewed on WNET’s MetroFocus and discussed the Laurie M. Tisch Education Center at the Whitney Museum. The Laurie M. Tisch Education Center aims to make art accessible to New Yorkers and to establish the Whitney Museum as a resource for all. Ms. Tisch stated that the education center builds upon her passionate work advocating the arts as a right and not a privilege. Ms. Potts said the center was purposefully designed to be welcoming and prominently located within the museum, so that all visitors to the museum can participate in the exciting programs offered at the Laurie M. Tisch Education Center.
On March 9, Laurie M. Tisch was one of the honorees at United Way of New York City’s The Power of Women to Make a Difference Luncheon. The luncheon was an inspiring event celebrating female accomplishments. During her remarks Ms. Tisch said "I'm grateful to United Way of New York City and the Women's Leadership Council for their recognition of the power that women yield to transform communities." The Observer reports that the 10th anniversary event raised nearly $1 million to support United Way of New York City's ReadNYC initiative. The initiative seeks to improve educational opportunities for low-income communities in New York City. For more information read the event press release here.