Thelma Pearl Howard Foundation

  • Overview

    The Thelma Pearl Howard Foundation was established at the California Community Foundation in 1994, named after Walt Disney’s housekeeper for 30 years. It provides support to projects or programs in Los Angeles County that focus on quality arts-based education enrichment activities for children in kindergarten through eighth grade.

    Howard had great faith in the Disneys, who gave her a few shares of Walt Disney Company stock for holiday and birthday presents. She held on to every share and eventually became a wealthy woman. She passed away on June 10, 1994, just days before her 80th birthday. Through her will, it was her wish that a fund be designated for disadvantaged children.

    Because of her generosity, the Thelma Pearl Howard Foundation has awarded more than $4 million in grants. CCF, with the help of an independent board of directors, administers the annual grants. During FY2010, the Thelma Pearl Howard Foundation changed its open application process to an invitation-only process, in acknowledgment of its commitment to selected organizations.

    The Thelma Pearl Howard Foundation funds Los Angeles County arts-education programs (dance, instrumental and vocal music, visual arts and dramatic arts) serving children in preschool through eighth grade. Awards for up to $25,000 will be made to art programs that result in at least one of the following: improved artistic, or academic skills, and improved attitude and/or behaviors toward school.

    To be eligible for funding, an applicant must:

    • Be located in and serve Los Angeles County
    • Serve disadvantaged Pre-K through 8th grade students
    • Be a nonprofit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue code

    The Thelma Pearl Howard Foundation has distinct preferences:

    • for projects that demonstrate meaningful and measurable results for participants
    • organizations where professional artists lead the programming and instruction
    • organizations with strong operational records as well as those with a growing maturity in their work

    Proposals are by invitation only.

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