The boards of the Burbank Educational Foundation and the Burbank Arts for All Foundation announced this week that they are merging their organizations into the Burbank Arts & Education Foundation. The new foundation will continue to support innovation and excellence in schools, including arts education, STEM programs, student safety and wellness, and other needs within the Burbank Unified School District.
Like many other school districts in California, BUSD faces a significant budget crisis that will have a devastating impact on the students in the community, according to the announcement. In order to build a more efficient, strategic vision for fundraising in the community, the two foundations have been working for many months on a merger of the two organizations.
Ana Connell and Bob Mohler, co-chairs of the newly merged Burbank Arts & Education Foundation, said in a joint statement, “We want to see a strategic, cultural shift in how we support our schools by leveraging the assets of our community to fill gaps and level the playing field — supporting creativity, equity, inclusion and diversity for all BUSD students.
“We are confident that we can better engage and inspire the community to further invest in meeting the diverse educational needs of all BUSD students under one united front. Simply put, we believe we are better together.”
Burbank’s two educational foundations have a long history of providing support to BUSD students through grant-giving, advocacy, programming and community engagement programs.
Burbank Education Foundation was established in 1982 to raise money for BUSD. In recent years, the foundation has provided more than $437,000 in funds to BUSD in support of STEM programs, teacher classroom grants, SAT prep classes, and more, to benefit as many students as possible.
Burbank Arts for All Foundation was founded in 2006 to ensure students receive a quality arts education as part of their core curriculum. To date, the foundation has given more than $758,000 in funds to Burbank schools supporting a wide variety of visual, media and performing art programs, facility upgrades and strategic planning for the BUSD’s Arts for All Plan.
“Burbank’s students and teachers have benefitted greatly over the years from the financial support, advocacy work and community leadership of these outstanding nonprofits. The district is thrilled that these two organizations have joined together to ensure a brighter future for our students and our city,” said Matt Hill, superintendent of BUSD, in a statement. “We look forward to the support and partnership of the Burbank Arts & Education Foundation as we tackle the challenges facing our students — together.”
Connell and Mohler added, “We would not be where we are today without the generous support of our community. We hope they will continue advocating for and investing in the next generation of thinkers, creators, and doers. We can and we must build a better future for our children — together.”
The organization is launching with a “Better Together” Fundraising Campaign, an effort to raise funds for BUSD schools and help create a better future for its students and the Burbank community. The foundation invites the community to join this effort by visiting BurbankArtsandEd.org.