Forever For Everyone Endowment

Forever For Everyone Endowment Logo

Charlie Puth
“As a young musician, I took piano classes at the Basie Center Academy, which helped strengthen and influenced my love for jazz. Today, I’m serving as honorary chair of the Count Basie Center’s Forever For Everyone campaign, to help provide hundreds of yearly scholarships to kids and families with interests similar to my own.”
“It’s more than just concerts at The Basie Center – their classes and arts education experiences teach not just performance skills, but also critical life skills like confidence, tolerance, teamwork, and collaboration. I’m honored to have a role in the institution that helped me grow as a musician.”
– Charlie Puth, Honorary Chair

The Count Basie Center is committed to amplifying and embracing the diversity of its region, and creating a community where the performing and cultural arts are accessible to all. It’s not just the Basie Center’s mission to Inspire, Educate and Entertain through the arts – it’s our responsibility.

The Basie Center has expanded its campus and is now focused on launching a $20 million endowment campaign, which will provide critical long-term stability to our organization, deepen our community impact and expand access to our programs and performances.

Through our Forever For Everyone endowment campaign, the Basie Center will work toward providing access, education and inspiration to all. We firmly believe the arts enrich our community and this endowment campaign will allow the Basie Center to continue its mission to embrace and amplify positive change and ensure inclusion and access for everyone.

“This endowment will allow the Basie Center to provide access to anyone interested in studying the performing arts, while amplifying and embracing diversity and inclusivity in our programming.”

Forever For Everyone Campaign Co-Chairs


Students Performing and Outreach

“The arts tear down walls, build resilience, and lead to greater
understanding and empathy. The arts are one of our greatest tools for advancing racial and social equity.”

– Jeremy Grunin, Basie Center Chairperson
The Forever For Everyone endowment campaign’s priorities align with the Basie Center’s strategic plan and will deepen the role of performance arts and education within the community.

Access and Equity: ($10M endowment)

  • Scholarships to allow for all students to become part of our programs, regardless of their stage of life or socioeconomic standing
  • All-Access Arts classes to engage new students and expand the Basie Center’s reach within the community
  • Instruments are subsidized and provided to students to facilitate their arts education
  • Provides a diverse and quality arts education, allowing students to hone their skills and become successful artists

The Basie Center Fund for Strategic Growth: ($5M endowment)

  • Provides funds to launch new programs, especially those which deepen our commitment to cultural competency, racial equity, and social inclusion
  • Allows Basie Center President and CEO to address strategic needs for growth
  • Addresses the most urgent needs as identified by the strategic plan
  • Continued investments in diversifying staff and internal education and trainings

Capital Improvements and Maintenance: ($5M endowment)

  • Ensures the Basie Center can maintain its campus and provide necessary upgrades for the long-term, including the historic theater, The Vogel, the William & Catherine Basie Arts Plaza, the Grunin Arts & Education Building, and the Phoenix Productions and Conservatory campus
  • Allows the Basie Center to have a reserve fund for renovations and maintenance
    of our historic theatre

Endowment Campaign Honorary Chair

Charlie Puth

Endowment Campaign Co-Chairs

Carol Stillwell
Valerie Montecalvo

Endowment Campaign Committee

Jerry Bakal
Steven Denholtz
Claudia Dulac
Robert Evanson
Yvonne Grayson
Jeremy Grunin
Mark Hogan
MaryAnne Kanacki
Nancy Karpf
Robin Klein
Marshall Knopf
Maria Maher
Michael Parent
Maggie Riker
Cathy Sivo
Tom Widener

Basie Center Board of Trustees Executive Committee

Jeremy Grunin
Stephen Cutler
Robin Klein
Governance Officer
Michael Parent
Co-Vice Chairperson
SoVonna Day-Goins
Claudia Dulac
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer
Maggie Riker
Co-Vice Chairperson
Maria Maher
Adam Philipson
President & Chief Executive Officer, Ex Officio

Basie Center Senior Staff

Karen Franklin
Samantha Giustiniani
Lysa J. Israel
Ann Marie Keenan
Izzy Sackowitz
Jonathan Vena

Student Music and Outreach

For more information please contact
Lysa J. Israel
Senior Director of Development
732-224-8778 x 128
[email protected]