art&culture magazine spring/summer 2016 v10i3

Page 81

a&c Spring 2016_Inside Culture.qxp_Layout 1 6/2/16 8:52 AM Page 79

CULTURAL COMPENDIUM Center for Creative Education Receives $2 Million Gift The 2015/16 season will be one to remember for the nonprofit Center for Creative Education in West Palm Beach. The vibrant arts integration organization, which was created to strengthen the presence of the arts in Palm Beach County classrooms more than 20 years ago, received a generous gift of $2 million from the Esther B. O’Keeffe Foundation. The gift, presented by Clare O’Keeffe, executive trustee of the Palm Beach-based foundation, is unrestricted. “We will use a significant portion of this gift to create an endowment for CCE, which will ensure that we are here for all of our students in the future,” CCE Chief Executive Officer Robert Hamon told supporters at a donor appreciation dinner. “For any nonprofit a gift of that magnitude is a game changer, but it’s more than just the monetary impact. It is much more important to me that the Esther B. O’Keeffe Foundation and specifically Clare O’Keeffe believe in us enough to make that investment in our future.” In recognition of the donation, the foundation’s name now graces CCE’s recently renovated home – a former roller skating rink in N orthwood Village, which houses galleries, classrooms and administrative offices and hosts a variety of community events. The center’s teaching artists also work with thousands of children in schools and after-school programs throughout the county. A majority of the students served by CCE live in economically and socially challenging circumstances and are considered at risk of educational failure. The arts-based programs the organization provides are a powerful way to improve these students’ chances of success – both academically and personally. CCE also works with advanced students who benefit from the opportunity to delve deeply into subjects through the arts and develop their creative thinking and problem-solving skills. For all children, working together on art-based

Clare O’Keeffe, Lenny Garcia and Robert Hamon

projects encourages exploration, inventiveness, team building and cooperation and changes the way they think about themselves and about school.