Among the recently received gifts from foundations are grants from the Ahmanson Foundation, Hearst Foundation, Getty Foundation, and Irvine Foundation. Our thanks to these foundations and others for their support.
The Ahmanson Foundation Veteran Student Scholarship Initiative (AVSI)
Otis was selected as one of 25 colleges and universities in Southern California recognized for excellence in serving student veterans. The Foundation’s goal is to help recruit, retain, and educate students who are pursuing higher education through the Post-9/11 GI Bill.
AVSI is designed to provide maximum flexibility so that participants can be responsive to student veterans’ individualized needs. In 2013, the inaugural year of the initiative, Otis received a $50,000 grant for scholarship support. The award complements the Ahmanson Foundation’s generous and longstanding contributions to Otis for annual scholarships and an endowed scholarship for graduate students.
A partner in the federal Yellow Ribbon Program, Otis provides a 100% match of financial assistance for tuition and fees provided by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Over the past several years, on average, seven veterans have registered for degree programs, among the highest rate of veteran enrollment in the College’s history.
Many of the student veterans self-identify as artists first. They take deep pride in their acceptance to the College because they were not asked to disclose their veteran status; admission decisions are based on artistic merit and academic performance. Yet, given their professional experience, they quickly emerge as campus leaders for their seriousness of purpose, creative approach to problem solving, and commitment to teamwork.
Just as they represent all branches of the military, from combat illustrators in the Marines to bridge crew members in the Army, their major areas of study reflect all academic departments, from Digital Media to Fashion Design. They are inspired by the examples set by fellow servicemen and women who are pursuing creative professions such as Nick Hayes (Toy Design ‘13), a lead game designer at Spin Master Ltd.
The William Randolph Hearst Foundation
The Hearst Foundation made an extraordinary investment with a $600,000 grant over three years for annual scholarships and innovative curricula. In academic year 2013, the award supported sixteen undergraduates who would not otherwise have been able to attend Otis, and dozens of community partnerships for the Creative Action: Integrated Learning Program.
Hearst Scholar Ha Young Helen Ko explains that she is resolutely confident about her decision to study art but her opportunity depended entirely on private support: “When I remember how much art has done to help me cope with difficulties in my life, my desire to become an artist only becomes stronger. It is because of the Hearst Foundation’s generous donation that I am able to pay my tuition, my materials, and all the other miscellaneous costs of attending school. Because of my family's financial situation, for the longest time I gave up on being an artist. I still can't believe I'm now working towards becoming one, and one of the best ones at that, because I'm at Otis where I can learn the techniques and skills from professionals." Throughout her academic career, Ko will learn firsthand to apply her art and design skills to address community needs because all undergraduates take three years of elective courses in Creative Action. The William Randolph Hearst Foundation is providing major support for this program in which students work in trans-disciplinary teams to identify creative solutions to social and environmental issues.
Among the community partners is Junior Blind of America, a nonprofit organization devoted to helping children and adults who are blind, visually impaired, or multi-disabled achieve independence. Students worked with peers from different majors to identify ways to promote social interaction and campus beautification at Junior Blind’s Los Angeles campus, which serves 8,000 blind, partially sighted, or multiply disabled annual visitors, 70% of whom are under age 12. The students conceived, built, and installed a mobile sound sculpture, haptic games, an indoor water feature, a wayfinding xylophone, and a three-dimensional mural that depicts canonical works of art.
The William Randolph Hearst Foundation joins other philanthropic leaders who support the Otis Student Scholarship Fund, including the Ahmanson Foundation, Joseph Drown Foundation, William H. Hannon Foundation, and The Rose Hills Foundation. Additional support for Creative Action is provided by Art4Moore and the National Arts and Disability Center.
In Mourning and in Rage, by Suzanne Lacy and Leslie Labowitz. Holly Near singing on the steps of L.A. City Hall. (1978)
The Getty Foundation
Doin’ It in Public: Feminism and Art at the Woman’s Building, an exhibition, two scholarly publications, and a series of public events documented, contextualized, and paid tribute to the groundbreaking work of feminist artists and art cooperatives that were centered in and around the L.A. Woman’s Building in the 1970s and 1980s. The project was part of Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945-1980, an unprecedented collaboration, initiated by the Getty, of more than sixty cultural institutions from across Southern California for six months in 2011 to tell the story of the birth of the L.A. art scene. Generous support was also provided by the
Henry Luce Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and the Dept of Cultural Affairs, City of L.A.
The James Irvine Foundation
The James Irvine Foundation awarded funding for the implementation of the Teaching and Learning Initiative. The promotes systemic change at all levels of learning and teaching of Media Arts, at Otis and in public schools and community organizations through strategic partnerships with local and regional institutions. With the Irvine Foundation’s support, Otis strengthens its commitment to inspiring the artistic, academic, and professional growth of its students, faculty, and the greater community.