ABOVE: (L to R) Michelle Lund, Ryman Arts board member and daughter of Sharon D. Lund with Ryman Arts Executive Director, Diane Brigham
Los Angeles, CA, USA — Ryman Arts, a non-profit organization that provides free arts education to talented teens throughout Orange and Los Angeles counties, has received a $1 million gift from the Sharon D. Lund Foundation to fund the organization’s artistic programs and its next generation of young artists.
“The Sharon D. Lund Foundation has been a longtime supporter of Ryman Arts, and this gift will further our ability to continue to offer individualized, high-quality art classes that are free of charge to students and their families,” explains Ryman Arts Executive Director Diane Brigham.
According to Brigham, $500,000 of the foundation’s gift will support Ryman Arts’ operations over the next several years, while the remaining $500,000 will be set aside as a challenge to be matched by the local community.
“The support of this incredible foundation, coupled with the continued support of our local community members in Los Angeles and Orange County, is one of the major reasons we’ve been able to continue to invest in our next generation of young artists and leaders,” says Brigham. “Our enrollment has doubled in the past two years and we are expanding to serve even more students to meet the demand for this life-changing program. Continued support from the community is crucial to this ongoing growth.”
Ryman Arts, which began as a single drawing class for a dozen students, has evolved into a program of 40 different classes serving more than 600 students annually.
“More than 80 percent of these students come from low-income families who might not have been afforded the opportunity to pursue their creative aspirations otherwise,” says Michelle Lund, Ryman Arts board member and daughter of Sharon D. Lund. “My mother truly believed in the mission of Ryman Arts and the powerful impact this organization can have on young lives.”
Ryman Arts was co-funded by Sharon Lund (daughter of Walt Disney), along with Leah and Marty Sklar, Anne and Buzz Price, and Lucille Ryman Carroll. 2015 marks the organization’s 25th anniversary of service to the community.
“We want to continue this legacy of supporting the arts, and we challenge the local community to do the same. By supporting Ryman Arts, we are all helping to ensure that the next generation of students receives an equal opportunity for arts education,” adds Lund.
Ryman Arts invites the community to match the Lund Foundation’s $500,000 gift by making a contribution at www.rymanarts.org/donate. Community members who take part in this challenge will be contributing to the growth of Ryman Arts’ endowment to fund classes, art supplies, and community outreach events for years to come.
Since its inception in 1990, Ryman Arts has engaged over 6,000 Southern California teens in its core fine arts studio program. This vibrant community of culturally diverse teens comes from over 150 neighborhoods across the region.
In its two decades, Ryman Arts has evolved into a national model for transforming the lives and futures of young artists. A non-profit organization, Ryman Arts is funded by individuals, foundations, corporate supporters, and government agencies including the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information please visit www.rymanarts.org or call 213-629-2787.