Closing the Gap Through Art

Spending her professional career in public policy and city planning, Carol was no stranger to the opportunity gap, particularly as it related to children and access to cultural resources. But it wasn’t until she retired that she was able to combine this knowledge with her love of the performing arts – singing – to be exact.

She doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t love to sing. Growing up, she became passionate and involved with chorus, but, she admits that it fell to the wayside for decades while she was working.  But when she jumped back in, she jumped all in, participating in a “summer camp for grown-ups” in the Berkshires, a compressed learning experience for choral singers. Once again immersed in her passion, she and her husband headed to North Carolina, and Carol began to notice something about the arts that bothered her.

There was a very prominent racial gap in the groups she saw perform, both in adult and children, and she decided that she wanted to do something about that – to bring the experience of singing to everyone. Carol’s fund at the Foundation, Youth Pro Musica, was born in 2000, out of this desire, and she focuses much of her grantmaking to ensure that her mission is carried out. Funding for the next generation of diverse choral singers, to ensure that students can attend competitions with the rest of their class, even if they can’t fundraise in their neighborhood because it isn’t safe, is an example she shared.

She stressed that it’s so important that the of arts for children – performing arts – continues to be funded. “It has been proven by many a study that it’s the avenue to other kinds of learning and a socialization. You learn you aren’t the only one, and pride comes from collaboration, a vital part of choral singing for kids. Besides, it’s fun and you can do it in 40 years when you’re older than your parents.”

Carol worked in her career as city planner, writer, and public policy professional. She lives in Chapel Hill with her husband, and derives special pleasure from participating in Chorale and other singing activities.

What We Do

We believe in the importance of funding the arts in our community. Access to the arts provides meaningful connections and communications between individuals, our community and the greater society.