Vitality Arts

FOUNDER’S LETTER

Dear Friends,

In 2006, I purposefully reflected on what is truly important to me in my personal life and my philanthropic work. Through that reflection I came to understand the power of generosity, compassion, kindness and love, expressed through action – all aspects of the Maori word “aroha,” the source of my foundation’s name.

Engaging in the arts has always brought joy into my life, from childhood to the present day. I have seen art transform a rather hum-drum day into moments of enjoyment and contemplation.

For that reason, I concentrate Aroha Philanthropies’ efforts in three distinct areas: arts learning for 55+, K-12 arts education, and adult residential mental health and the arts. Each of these program areas addresses the vital role creativity can play in everyone’s life.

This focus has in turn led to more impactful grants and relationships, allowing me to engage more deeply and intentionally with our grantee organizations. I proudly regard them as collaborative partners and friends.

Over the years, this philanthropy has become an active expression of the gratitude I have for the places and experiences that have shaped me. Aroha Philanthropies holds great personal importance in my life. I am proud to share our work with you through this website. I urge you to spend a bit of time looking through the variety of information we think you will find interesting and helpful. Our staff welcomes your questions, comments and ideas.

Thank you for showing interest in our work.

In gratitude,

EllenM-FirstNameSig

Ellen A. Michelson
Founder and President
Aroha Philanthropies

Inaugural Cohort

Chosen from a highly competitive field of more than 200 applicants, these 15 organizations form the first cohort of grantees to partner with Aroha Philanthropies to support the development and expansion of artful aging programs.

We believe that the Seeding Vitality Arts initiative will demonstrate the potential impact of such programs for older adults, arts organizations, senior service providers, senior residential communities, and diverse groups everywhere.

Meet our U.S. grantees…

“We contain all the ages we have ever been.”

 Anne Lamott