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Currents--University of Rochester newspaper

Eastman receives $3.26 million grant


A gift of $3.26 million from the Catherine Filene Shouse Foundation will go to the Eastman School to support and extend the school's Arts Leadership Program.

The funding, which will be given over three years, is the foundation's first endowment grant as well as the largest single grant ever received from a foundation by ESM. The Catherine Filene Shouse Foundation, established in 1989 to further the performing arts and education, has supported the internship component of the Arts Leadership Program since it was established in 1996.

"We are, of course, very grateful to the foundation for this generous gift," said ESM Director James Undercofler. "It's also an enormous honor to have Catherine Filene Shouse's name associated with a program that offers so much to our students."

The newly named Catherine Filene Shouse Arts Leadership Program prepares students not only to perform and to teach, but also to assume leadership roles in arts organizations. The program includes internships with arts organizations, guest presentations, and courses such as Entertainment Law and Music, Entrepreneurship in Music, Politics of Art, and Artistic Programming for the Symphony Orchestra: Balancing Artistic Goals with Financial Realities.

"By providing a broad exposure to a variety of music-related topics, students develop a comprehensive understanding of the arts world," said Douglas Dempster, founding director of the Arts Leadership Program. "This background is invaluable as they begin careers in any area of music, whether onstage or behind the scenes."

The 70 alumni of the program have found performing and administrative positions with notable arts organizations, including Columbia Artists Management, the Atlanta Symphony, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra Institute, the Juilliard School, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Future additions to the program that will be made possible with the support of the foundation include an annual distinguished guest lecture series to be named in honor of Shouse; curriculum-development grants for faculty; and an "externship" component comprising post-graduation internships and professional development opportunities for young alumni.

Shouse, one of the most influential American women of the 20th century, was an advisor to 15 presidents, a visionary and dynamic advocate for humanitarian causes, and a generous benefactor of the arts.

She was the first woman to receive a master of education degree from Harvard University, the first woman appointed to the National Democratic Committee, and the only woman in the 20th century to have been named Dame Commander of the British Empire and awarded the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian awards of Great Britain and the United States.

Shouse also donated 100 acres of her Virginia farmland outside of Washington, D.C., and funds for construction of the Filene Center amphitheater for creation of Wolf Trap--the only national park for the performing arts and related education programs--which opened in 1971. Even since her death in 1994 just months before her 99th birthday, Shouse continues to receive honors for her lifelong contributions in many fields.

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