Joy W. Pope Memorial Grants in the Arts and Human Services

In September 2015, the Pope Foundation announced the creation of two new competitive grants, the Joy W. Pope Memorial Grant in the Arts and the Joy W. Pope Memorial Grant in Human Services. Through the grants, the Pope Foundation seeks to foster innovation and model solutions in the areas of the arts and human services.

While the foundation typically focuses giving to arts and human services organizations in the Raleigh region, the Joy W. Pope Memorial grants are open to non-profits anywhere in North Carolina. Joy Pope was the wife of the late entrepreneur and philanthropist John William Pope, the foundation’s namesake.  She was a dedicated patron of arts and human service organizations and served as president of the foundation from 1986-1992.

Presented with nearly 100 applications for the two inaugural grants, the Board of Directors ultimately awarded a $100,000 grant to the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra and Safelight.  You can read their stories below.  To receive information about future Joy Pope Memorial Grant opportunities, please sign up for our email list.

Information about the 2018 Joy W. Pope Memorial Grants can be found here.  Applications will be accepted July 1 – September 15, 2017.  Two $100,000 grants will be awarded in the respective areas of arts and human services.

2016 Recipients

Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra (Fayetteville, N.C.)

The Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra, based in Fayetteville, N.C., will use their $100,000 grant to create an instrument lending library for members of their youth orchestra program.  The symphony will lend instruments to families that cannot afford rental fees and will lend instruments that are not readily available in the area, such as the ‘A clarinet.” In return, students will commit to participation in the youth orchestra, which will offer performance opportunities and coaching by the symphony’s professional musicians. Currently 50 students participate in the youth orchestra, representing Robeson, Hoke, Moore, and Lee Counties in addition to Cumberland County. Read more.

Safelight Family Services: Dandelion Eatery (Hendersonville, N.C.)

The Dandelion Eatery, a project of Safelight Family Services (formerly Mainstay Women’s Shelter) received a one-time gift of $100,000 to expand its commercial teaching kitchen.  Opened in 2013, Dandelion Eatery provides jobs training for domestic violence victims while operating as a restaurant open to the public.  Dandelion is located in Hendersonville, N.C. and is open M-F, 10 am – 3 pm.  Tanya Blackford, Director of Safelight, thanked the Pope Foundation for this gift. “We are grateful to have the Pope Foundation partner with us to expand the Dandelion program. This generous investment will allow us to offer job training internships to even more clients. Completing this program is essential to a victim’s long-term success in re-entering the workforce and being able to provide for her family.” Read more.

2017 Recipients

Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center (Robbinsville, N.C.)

Nestled in the far Western North Carolina Mountains, well past Cherokee, the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center is providing arts and cultural experiences for Graham County residents and children.  The facility is a nearly 100-yard old schoolhouse, turned into classroom space, a community kitchen, a theater, and outdoor areas with the sweat equity of residents who wanted to see the building returned to it’s former glory.  With their 2017 Joy W. Pope Memorial Grant, Executive Director Beth Fields will bring “Courtyard of the Cherokee” space to life.  Recognizing the seven clans of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, the outdoor space will feature original artwork by local artisans, native plantings and seating.  Read more.

Wesley Shelter (Wilson, N.C.)

Where do women and their families in domestic violence crisis go in Wilson County, North Carolina?  The Wesley Shelter works daily to make sure women in crisis know they have a safe place and resources at their organization.   Founded in 1983, the Shelter offers comprehensive services for domestic and sexual violence victims, homeless women and children, and human trafficking survivors.  The Shelter serves over 1,500 people each year and relies on over 100 volunteers and 19 professional staff members to help serve their clients. Led by Executive Director Lynne White, the Shelter has also grown their Spanish Outreach Mission, targeting an often underserved community with bilingual services and more.  With their 2017 Joy W. Pope Memorial Grant, the Shelter will improve their emergency housing shelter by making it handicap accessible and increasing the number of beds they are able to offer. Read more.

2018 Recipients

Applications for the 2018 Joy W. Pope Memorial Grant in the Arts and Human Services will be accepted from July 1, 2017 to September 15, 2017.  To learn more, visit the 2018 application page.