Our Impact


Celebrating and Supporting Our Cultural Community

The Community Foundation has celebrated the arts in its grantmaking from its earliest days. Both artists and arts organizations have benefitted from the generosity of donors who understand these investments build a community economically, socially, and educationally. Because their gifts have allowed us to gain deep knowledge in the cultural community, TCF has become a significant connector and advocate for local arts initiatives.

The Community Foundation makes grants in three main program areas; in addition, grants to the arts may be made by donors through their donor advised funds.

2023 Art Ventures Individual Artists Grantees – Top Row (left to right): Ithiell Yisrael, Jessica Q. Stark, Andrew Fallon, Emily Cargill, Raquel Benjamin; Bottom Row (left to right): Glenn Van Dyke (Kairos Creature Club), Julian Bryson, Marcus Jamal Williams, Barbara Hionides, Andrew Kozlowski

Art Ventures

More than 30 years ago, donors led a drive to fund grants to small and mid-sized arts organizations and individual artists. Buoyed by a matching grant from the NEA, the Art Ventures Fund was established, and now encompasses five additional endowed funds to support artists. Over the years, the funds have made more than 300 grants.

This funding has also sparked new projects, provided training and learning, and helped build capacity in artistic practices and equity.

“Beyond dollars, TCF strives to create accessible learning opportunities, and provide a platform for professional development.”

– Jennifer Chase, Art Ventures Individual Artist Grantee, 2013

Artist Story: Jennifer Chase

“The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida literally provides a foundation for artists to engage and grow. As an Art Ventures grant recipient, I can say the financial support allows artists like me to see a project to fruition that may otherwise be out of reach. But there is much more than financial support that is meaningful for artists here. Through other learning opportunities and professional development they offer, artists are not only enriching themselves but contributing to further solidification of the cultural foundation that makes our region unique.”

Jennifer Chase, Photo by laird/blac palm, inc.

St. Augustine Plein Air event, Photo by laird/blac palm, inc.

Dr. JoAnn Crisp-Ellert Fund for Visual Art in St. Augustine

Created in memory of artist and philanthropist Dr. JoAnn Crisp-Ellert, the fund supports organizations and projects fulfilling St. Augustine’s distinctive role in celebrating visual art. Grants have been made to support Flagler College’s Crisp-Ellert Museum artist-in-residence program, the St. Augustine Art Association’s plein air events, major traveling exhibitions at the Lightner Museum, and more. Sponsorships for community murals, artist collaboratives, and after-school art projects have all been funded as living memories of an unforgettable patron of the arts.

Ann McDonald Baker Art Ventures Award

Named for community leader and arts philanthropist, the Ann McDonald Baker Art Ventures Award is presented annually to an artist whose artistic excellence brings distinction to Northeast Florida. Winners have been named in various disciplines, and each has made distinctive contributions to the region through their work. This unrestricted prize of $10,000 is unique among community foundations, and one of only a few awarded in the country.

Ulysses Owens, Jr. 2022 Ann McDonald Baker Art Ventures Award recipient, Photo by Felicia Bass

“Our mom’s passion was to make her community a better, more beautiful and caring place. The recipients of the Ann Baker Art Ventures Award exemplify this. Each year we celebrate an artist who shows this same devotion to their craft and their community. We are pleased The Community Foundation honored our mom by naming this award for her and allowing her legacy and impact on the community to continue.”

Sally Baker Lee

We are grateful to the generous donors who established the following named funds which support Arts grants at The Community Foundation:

  • Art Ventures Endowment Fund
  • J. Shepard, Jr. and Mary Ann Bryan Arts Endowment
  • Delores Barr Weaver Black Artists Endowment
  • Independent Life Minority Arts Award Fund
  • Anne & Sallyn Pajcic Art Ventures Endowment
  • Alynne Sharp Art Fund
  • JoAnn Crisp-Ellert Fund
  • Ann McDonald Baker Art Ventures Award Endowment Fund

Impact Stories

Art Ventures Small Arts Organization Grant

“The ACCORD Museum and Freedom Trail was at a crossroads in 2021. We needed to grow and improve our grant writing and other funding, but we were unsure how to go about it. Through the grant from The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, we are working with nonprofit and grant professionals to create a plan that will increase our recurring and ongoing revenues and give us the confidence to invest them strategically. The knowledge we are gaining will allow us to carry out our mission in the long term, well beyond the grant project!”


– Dalonja Duncan, President

Crisp-Ellert Art Museum

The Crisp-Ellert Art Museum (CEAM) has been the beneficiary of many of the grants from The Community Foundation, including the CEAM Artist Residency program funded by the Dr. JoAnn Crisp-Ellert Fund. The museum’s recent exhibit, ‘The Hotelmen’ was created by Erin Kendrick, a recipient of The Community Foundation’s Art Ventures Individual Artist grant and the Spring 2022 CEAM Artist in Residence. The Foundation helped sponsor the exhibit, which was also supported by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Art Ventures Individual Artist Grant

Director and choreographer Roxanna Lewis received an Art Ventures Individual Artist Grant in 2020. She used her grant to train in cutting edge film processes to document and circulate her work. “It is vital that such opportunities continue to exist in Northeast Florida so the creative culture of Jax continues to expand and flourish,” she said, “I am forever grateful to The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida for their financial investment in my personal growth, artistic advancement and professional success.”

“The Art Ventures grant made it possible for one of the most important projects in my creative career to come into being and it helped to make Where We Stand accessible to people across the state of Florida and soon to be a national audience. This is invaluable to an artist seeking to continue his or her work and expand their collector base.”

– Lenny Foster, 2021 Art Ventures Grant Recipient

Here to Help

For more information, contact:

Amy Palmer

Program Director