Grantee Profiles Prior to 1995
Following are short descriptions of some of the groups Rex has supported. They represent the scope of our work from environmental, social and community services to the arts and cultural preservation.
The Achievement Academy at Simon’s Recreation Center
The Academy is a program which provides mentors to disadvantaged young people. Staffed by volunteers, the Academy provides role models for school children, especially boys, tutors them, and attempts to keep them from falling for the lure of urban streets.
Walnut Ln. & Woolston Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19138
The American Indian College Fund
The American Indian College Fund was launched in 1989 by the presidents of the Indian colleges to raise private sector funds for scholarships and developmental assistance.
Indian colleges were founded beginning in 1968 to serve the education needs of Native American people and to preserve and revitalize the values and traditions of their tribal cultures. There are now 29 Indian colleges in the United States.
American Music Theater Festival
AMTF has been innovative in contemporary music theater since 1983, presenting bold world premiere works, showcasing the great American music theater tradition through the AMTF cabaret, and outreaching to youth through the Rainbow Connection, which is designed to give middle school students the opportunity to tell their own stories in their own words through the medium of music theater. The Rainbow Ensemble is Philadelphia’s only city-wide, multi-cultural, all-youth performing group. The impact of the program, empowerment and learning of life skills, is palpable.
AMTF, 123 South Broad St., (suite 2515), Philadelphia, PA 19109
Bethesda Project (My Brother’s House)
My Brother’s House, is an emergency community center for chronically homeless men, serving the needs of those most at risk. The goal is to provide counseling, medical care, a safe night, and a sense of connection and belonging to 60 of the most frail and vulnerable men on the street. .
700 S. 15th., Philadelphia, PA 19146
Camp Winnarainbow is a circus and performing arts camp located three and one half hours north of San Francisco, on the Black Oak Ranch. While living in a circle of teepees, the children are offered lessons in juggling, stilt walking, trapeze, dance, drama or art. The camp also features an extensive program of environmental and Native American Studies, including programs with visiting visionaries such as Australian rainforest activist and deep ecologist John Seed.
Each year up to a third of the kids receive some form of scholarship. With the assistance of Bay Area public agencies, Camp Winnarainbow draws a racially diverse mix of youngsters from disadvantaged and distressed circumstances, many of whom are homeless. The camp also teaches children from Indian reservations, refugee populations and children whose parents are in prison.
Camp Winnarainbow is not in the business of turning out legions of actors or circus stars but complete individuals, well versed in timing, balance and a deep awareness of the interconnectedness of all living things. Contact:
Camp Winnarainbow, 1301 Henry St., Berkeley, CA 94709
The Committee for a Better North Philadelphia
Located in the most poverty stricken part of Philadelphia, the Committee struggles to do whatever is called for in the neighborhood – AIDS education, intergenerational work, drug prevention, housing referrals. anti-violence networking, health services, fuel assistance, and advocacy work with public officials.
1401 York Road Philadelphia, PA 19132
Families Against Mandatory Minimums Foundation
Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM) is a national organization working to reform sentencing laws. Current laws force judges to sentence an individual based solely on the weight of the drug, or the presense of a firearm, without regard to any other factor, including the culpability of the offender. Inflexible sentencing is responsible for the unprecedented incarceration of nonviolent, first-time drug offenders who now make up 62 percent of the federal prison population. Their mandatory minimum sentences range from five to ten years, without parole, and many are serving longer.
In 1993 FAMM testified before the U.S. Sentencing Commission arguing that the carrier (i.e. sugar cube, blotter paper) should not be included in determining the total weight of the drug for sentencing because it caused widely disparate sentences for defendants arrested with the same number of doses of LSD.
The U.S. Sentencing Commission agreed with FAMM and decided to establish a standard weight for each dose of LSD. The Commission also made their ruling retroactive; FAMM hopes that nearly half of the 500 people serving LSD sentences in the federal system will receive reduced sentences.
The Family Assistance Program
The Family Assistance Program helps homeless families, not through handouts, or token measures, but through a carefully planned, long term, support system.Ã‚Â It locates adequate permanent housing, and provides financial aid for deposits. It arranges individual and group psychological counseling, for
both adults and children, to offset the trauma of homelessness, and provides medical treatments. It locates employment and/or job training, and child care while looking for work or in training. It arranges attendance at support groups, such as AA, NA or OA, Acting Classes as therapy, Arts and Crafts groups; and tutoring to overcome illiteracy, or to bring children up to grade level.
Moving a family into an unfurnished apartment is only the first step. The Family Assistance Program has a goal to transform families in crises, into the self-sufficient self-respecting members of society that they long to be. The Family Assistance Program helps to provide the support so necessary to develop self-esteem, trust, knowledge, learning and love.
Families Assistance Program, 1654 Ivar Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90028-6305
The Farm School
Five years ago a group of teachers, farmers, performers and business people came together with a clear purpose in mind: the need to involve children directly in their responsibilities as stewards of the earth. Fifth through ninth grade children from a multitude of public and independent schools would live on a working farm for up to two weeks during the regular academic year. They would become responsible for specific farm chores, and have classes in English, History and Science that use the farm as a textbook, and work on a large group project that helped to effect a sustainable future for the farm.
In the Fall of 1991 they took these plans to a ridge-top farm in North Central Massachusetts and began to build The Farm School. Since then they have brought the farm back to life and built an all-purpose bunk house whose doors will open for full programming in the Fall of 1994. This distillation of academic and experiential learning infuses students with an incurable sense of curiosity and adventure. It also serves to help them understand and feel an attachment to the land in order to help them make informed decisions about the future.
Fishery Foundation of California
(Helps Establish Landmark Legislation)
Over the past 30 years, many of California’s fisheries have declined dramatically, with some runs of salmon, striped bass and steelhead nearing extinction due to man’s impact on their aquatic habitat.
Working closely with United Anglers of California and other state-wide environmental and fisheries groups, the Fishery Foundation of California gained passage of legislation reforming the way the government manages the Central Valley water Project (CVP). Controlled largely by agricultural and business interests, the CVP exported some 3 million acre-feet of water out of the delta each year at highly subsidized rates, with little regard for the project’s impact on the ecosystem.
The passage of H.R. 429 (Miller-Bradley) by Congress significantly changed federal law, making fish, wildlife and their habitat a top priority of the water project. According to California Congressman George Miller, who led this effort in Washington, “For three decades, California has been torn apart over how to allocate our water resources and how to repair the destruction water development has caused to our fish and wildlife resources. That debate has ended. The people of California have finally won. The monopoly Central Valley farmers have had on CVP water is over!”
Fishery Foundation of California, 5200 Huntington Ave. #300, Richmond, CA 94804
Food and Friends
Food & Friends is the only organization in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area meeting the special nutritional needs of individuals and families with HIV/AIDS through a free home-delivered meal program.
Every Monday through Saturday volunteers help prepare and deliver three delicious meals to clients who are homebound due to the effects of HIV disease. A key ingredient is that dedicated volunteers take the time to visit with clients.
Greater Philadelphia Food Bank
The Food Bank is dedicated to collecting all available surplus food from local and national food companies, and distributing it to charites that directly feed the needy at homeless shelters, soup kitchens, day care centers, elderly centers and emergency food cupboards. More than 600 charities in the Philadelphia area belong to the Food Bank, a member of Second Harvest, the national food bank network, which supplies nearly 400 million lbs. of food each year to more than 38,000 charities in the U.S.
302 W. Berks St., Philadelphia, PA 19122
Hanford Education Action League
HEAL’s mission is to monitor the cleanup at the Hanford nuclear site on the Columbia river in Washington, to make sure that contractor “fat” is cut first before cleanup is delayed or stopped. They also scrutinize several studies concerned with current and future health effects of contamination from Hanford; work with the Department of Energy on plutonium treatment and disposal; and network with other regional and national groups working with DOE nuclear sites.
HEAL, 1408 W. Broadway, Spokane, WA 99201
Huichol Sierra Fund for Community Development
The Huichol is a group of a few thousand indigenous people living on the mesas and in the canyons of the Sierra Madre Occidental of northwestern Mexico. Some Huichol communities have weathered the almost five centuries since the Spanish invasion with their pre-Columbian cultural heritage largely intact, but pressures from the mainstream society are accelerating as roads are constructed into the Sierra.
The Huichol Sierra Fund worked with several Huichol families to design a gravity-flow, potable water system in order to improve health conditions at a ceremonial center. The ceremonial center maintains an annual cycle of pilgrimages, ceremonies, and celebrations for the region. The potable water system was installed during April of 1993.
The successful completion of this almost entirely community-directed project was instrumental in the Huichol rejection of a government proposal to introduce electricity to one location in the Sierra. It appears that the Rex funded project has set the pattern for future community development efforts in the Huichol Sierra.
Lithuanian Basketball Team
In March of 1992, the Grateful Dead were approached by Golden State Warriors basketball team coach Don Nelson and his son, assistant coach Donnie Nelson. A key Warriors team member, Sarunas ‘Roonie’ Marciulionis, was also the star player of the Lithuanian National Olympic Team. Struggling to pay travel and other team costs, the Lithuanian team faced the possibility of not being able to attend the Olympic games.
With much pride in his heritage and his country’s new found freedom, and knowing the Grateful Dead’s interest in contributing to cultural integrity and the spirit of democracy, Roonie approached the Rex Foundation and asked them to support his team’s efforts.
Meanwhile, Mike Fitzgerald, son of Warriors owner Ralph Fitzgerald, offered to make tie dye sweats for the team. The royalties would be able to further support Lithuania’s struggle for democracy and independence. To date over $300,000 has been raised for Lithuanian children’s charities thanks to Mike’s entrepreneurial ingenuity. Last year, the Lithuanian basketball team received a bronze medal in the Olympics, dressed in tie-dye shirts.
(Helping Homeless Teenagers)
Mainstream Foundation, a non-profit, public charity, has the main purpose of aiding homeless street teenagers on a long term basis; providing the means and support needed to make a free choice on how to maintain themselves in the mainstream of human life, culture and education. The program has been designated by the Department of Social Services as a model program for the State of California.
Mainstream’s clients are normal adolescents who have dysfunctional families that are unable or unwilling to raise a teenager. Despite the need for similar programs throughout the United States, very few exist.
The longest stay by a homeless teen at the Mainstream residence has been four years. The typical stay is two and a half years, enabling the Mainstream professional staff to have a maximum positive effect upon each teenage resident’s coping, education, enculturation, and psychological well being.
During 1993, Mainstream supported four of its graduates on academic scholarship at major universities. Mainstream looks forward to seeing three more graduating young women enter college in 1994.
Musicians United for Superior Education
MUSE was founded to put the muses, the inspiration to create, inside each and every child. It offers a primary school curriculum in traditions of drumming, dancing and singing from diverse cultures. These are music and dance traditions in which everyone participates because everyone is known to be inherently musical, and which can be combined with studies of drama, literature, history and geography. MUSE believes that confident, co-ordinated, expresssive children will excel in social and intellectual problem solving.
Programs began in four schools in Buffalo, NY, in the fall of 1993: African traditions at Bennett Park, Puerto Rican at School # 77, Afro-Latin at Academic Challenge, and Iroquois Social Dance at Waterfront. In time, all the primary schools can create their own welcoming dances, processionals, coming of age ceremonies, harvest festivals, swing-into-spring events. A natural outcome of the MUSE process is that children learn about America’s cultural diversity and can understand in their hands, feet and hearts that there are a variety of ways to be fully and beautifully human.
National Handicapped Sports
People with disabilities don’t want something done for them. They want the ability or power to do something for themselves. NHS provides recreation and sports programs directly to children and adults with physical disabilities. Children with emotional and developmental disabilities are also served, and special programs are available for victims of crime and disabled veterans.
NHS trains and certifies personnel and is helping to implement the Americans with Disabilities Act by making local recreation, sports and physical education programs accessible for people with disabilities.
The U.S. Olympic Committee and the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports have both selected NHS to implement programs for people with disabilities. NHS now helps more than 60,000 people live more independent and active lives through specialized training, instruction and information.
National Handicapped Sports, 451 Hungerford Dr. # 100, Rockville, MD 20850
Native American Women’s Health Education Center
NACB is based in South Dakota on the Yankton Sioux Reservation. Its purpose is to address issues of education, health, economic development and the environment in the community, and to work towards a safe community for women and children, including the support of parent involvement in education. Fifty percent of households on the reservation are headed by single women. A major part of the NACB program is the provision of scholarships to women so that they may complete their college education. Many women then return to the reservation where they are able to contribute effectively to community goals.
NACB, P.O. Box 572, Lake Andes, SD 57356
Peer AIDS Education Coalition
NYPAEC is an HIV prevention outreach project that recruits and trains marginalized youth in New York City, and helps them reach their peers with HIV prevention information, survival and drug use management skills, and service referrals. A major development of this effort will involve expanding the roles of interested peer educators to include peer counseling, crisis intervention, client advocacy and other activities. Thus NYPAEC is paving the way for street youth to undertake HIV prevention and service roles other than simple outreach.
NYPAEC, P.O. Box 2139, Cathedral Station, New York, NY 10025
The Poetry Project at St. Marks
Since its founding in 1966, the Poetry Project has served as a venue for public literary events and as a resource for writers. Housed in St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, a landmark church in Manhattan’s East Village, the Poetry Project promotes, fosters, and inspires the reading and writing of poetry. It has been the site of historic memorials to poets, and provides poets and artists with the services of a community-based literary institution for their efforts to have an active and powerful role in society.
The Project is integral to a neighborhood that over the last hundred years has been the temporary and permanent home of large immigrant and working-class populations with rich cultural backgrounds. The Poetry Project, with its emphasis on presenting work that reflects the complexity of daily experience and the spirit of progressive change, remains an element of strength and continuity to that community.
The Poetry Project attracts international attention. Writers, artists, and lovers of poetry from all over the U.S. and abroad make attending Project events part of any visit to the New York City area.
San Quentin Mass Choir
In November of 1991 the Gyuto Tantric Choir visited San Quentin. Having been exposed to the San Quentin Mass Choir at this event and inspired by an evening of cross-cultural devotion and spirituality, the Rex Foundation was moved to record an album of choral music by prisoners. He’s All I Need, a devotional choral, was recorded inside the prison walls by Grateful Dead member Mickey Hart.
In an historic and precedent-creating event, men and women, guards and staff, participated in a common activity with prison inmates. Since that time, many alumni of the San Quentin Mass Choir, both guards and ex-prisoners, now participate together at outside events, including an appearance on national television and a gospel show at the Oakland Paramount Theatre.
For ordering information call 1-800-CAL-DEAD.
(Music from people with HIV/AIDS)
For two successive years, Rex has supported the work of the Sunburst Projects, an innovative musical program for children and families with HIV/AIDS. In 1991, Sunburst recorded a 12-song cassette entitled “Answer the Call.”
The songs were written by the children and family members as part of a therapeutic song writing program developed at Camp Sunburst by Harmony Grisman. Many excellent Bay Area musicians contributed their skills to the music tracks above which the children’s voices shine.
In 1992 , Sunburst began duplicating and distributing “Answer the Call.” Last year, Dr. Gerri Brooks, founder of Sunburst Projects, was able to personally hand the “Answer the Call” tape to Hillary Clinton and speak to her about its message. The songs from the tape have also been used to augment a special 4-part series on children with AIDS on ABC news. The tape can be ordered through:
Camp Sunburst, 148 Wilson Hill Rd., Petaluma, CA 94952.
Wave Hill – Putting Children in Touch with Nature
Wave Hill is a cultural institution on 28 acres overlooking the Hudson River in the northwest Bronx. Wave Hill provides environmental education to city children and their teachers; manages an urban woodland, providing employment and training to youth-at-risk; maintains award-winning gardens and greenhouses; conducts projects in landscape history and design; and presents a variety of exhibitions, concerts and special events.
In 1994, the School Program provided environmental science education to 6,976 New York City children and training for 273 teachers.
Serving districts throughout the City, with the Bronx a priority and including some of the City’s lowest-income neighborhoods, Wave Hill provides the children an oasis of peace, safety and greenery in the midst of this intensely urban region.
Wave Hill, 675 West 252nd. St., Bronx, NY 10471-2899
Whitechapel Art Gallery, London – John Virtue Exhibition
Since the beginning of the century The Whitechapel Art Gallery has brought the highest quality works of art to East London, one of the most underprivileged boroughs in the United Kingdom. Its pioneering community program has involved setting up residencies and workshops for local artists to work alongside local groups, particularly the Bangladeshi community.
The forthcoming exhibition of the contemporary British artist, John Virtue, which the Rex Foundation’s donation is helping to fund, will create a unique community resource. As Virtue’s paintings evoke landscapes and a sense of place, it will enable local children from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds led by professional artists, to be introduced to the tradition of landscape painting. They will then have the opportunity to create their own urban “roofscapes” using the local landmark of the spire of Hawksmoor’s church at Spitalfields.
Whitechapel Art Gallery, Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX, England
United Indians of All Tribes Foundation
Founded 25 years ago, The United Indians of All Tribes Foundation operates a wide array of educational, cultural and social assistance programs. United Indians leases from the City of Seattle a 19-acre parcel in Discovery Park called the Indian Cultural Center whose purpose is the development of a multi-building, active center to preserve and enhance Indian heritage and educate people about Indian cultural diversity. The Daybreak Star Arts Center, opened in 1977, contains world-renowned murals created by Indian artists, and Head Start and Kindergarten classrooms which serve 140 children each weekday during the school year.
1945 Yale Place East, Seattle, Washington 98102
Zen Hospice Project
ZHP has trained and supported 350 volunteers who have provided more than 70,000 hours of compassionate care to 1,500 primarily indigent people facing life-threatening illness, operating through the Laguna Honda Hospital and a guest house residence. They also conduct a public education program aimed at demystifying caregiving which has led to similar projects in other cities and countries. “Amidst the ordinary activities of caring for people dying of cancer, AIDS and other illnesses, is the extraordinary opportunity to wake up, to live fully in the face of death. Both caregivers and those in the bed are served in this process, and so mutual benefit is integral to everything we do.”
ZHP, 273 Page St., San Francisco, CA 94102