VCCF Power of Purpose – June 2024

 In Newsletters

Power of Purpose Newsletter header, an image of poppies in the mountains above Ventura

Dear Ventura County Community Foundation Family,

As a longtime partner with the County of Ventura, VCCF wants to celebrate our latest collaboration to facilitate investment and technical support to our local community’s arts and culture nonprofit organizations.

These groups’ primary mission is to promote, preserve, and enrich the cultural and artistic aspects of our society. They are committed to advancing creativity, fostering cultural understanding, and contributing to the overall well-being of Ventura County residents, while offering platforms for artistic expression, innovation, and promoting a deeper understanding of our shared world.

As a result of the leadership of the Ventura County Board of Supervisors and County Executive Officer, our County has made an unprecedented investment of $1.3 million in our community’s arts and culture organizations, independent artists, and art projects. This investment led to the establishment of the Ventura County Arts and Culture Investment Fund at VCCF, and for the County to engage VCCF to manage this grant program for nonprofit organizations, with $600,000 of the overall County investment funding.

VCCF and the County teams worked together to create effective grant process, requirements, and protocol, including the creation of a VCCF Special Oversight Committee, comprised of experienced community leaders from across the county to ensure the effective, fair, and transparent distribution of funding to qualifying organizations.

We are pleased to announce that over 30 local nonprofit arts and culture organizations received grants, with awards ranging from $5,000 to $150,000. Along with the funding, the Economic Development Collaborative will be leading workshops on fundraising, capital management, marketing, and professional development for recipients.

As your community foundation, we are honored to continue our longstanding support of our community’s arts and culture nonprofit organizations.


Mike Silacci, Chief Philanthropy Officer

Isabella Project Update

The Isabella Project committee smiling in a group and holding up peace signs

An Isabella Project committee member sits at a table speaking into a microphone, with other members sitting nearby

Isabella Project committee members brainstorm at a table

Isabella Project members add sticky notes to a brainstorming wall

More than 100 community members have joined the Isabella Project, working diligently to advance high-quality early childhood education in our community. Our current focus is on ensuring access for every child in Santa Paula, employing innovative and responsive strategies to meet family needs.

Utilizing Child Trend’s “Multi-dimensional Framework of Access to Child Care and Early Education,” and supported by the crucial research and consulting expertise of VIVA Social Impact Partners, we are confident that our shared vision of all children having access to top-tier early childhood education will become a reality.

VCCF Donor Spotlight – David Bayer

David Bayer smiling and holding a box of food while volunteering in Food Share's warehouse

This month’s VCCF donor spotlight is on David Bayer, who shares about his experience of being a volunteer for Food Share for over a decade, and his words of wisdom on what it means to give back to the community.

Angela Timmons and Vanessa Bechtel Receive CSUCI Honorary Doctorates

Angela Timmons smiling at the microphone stand wearing doctoral regalia

Vanessa Bechtel shakes hands and smiles with Dr. Richard Yao, wearing doctoral regalia

Congratulations to the newest recipients of CSUCI’s honorary doctorate, former Channel Islands CAPS counselor Angela Timmons, and VCCF President & CEO Vanessa Bechtel! The two were recognized this month for their profound impact on the community and support of higher education.

Thank You, VCCF Scholarship Readers!

An adult woman smiles with a female student in a classroom

We would like to send a very special THANK YOU to all our volunteer readers this year! We had a record breaking number of scholarship applications to read and score and our dedicated team really stepped up! I also want to thank all of the newly recruited readers! We could not do this work without your dedication and support!

Kirsti Thompson, VCCF Scholarship Director

Supporting Foster Youth & Youth in Transition

A thumbnail for the Lunch & Learn

If you missed our May Virtual Lunch & Learn with the Ventura County Office of Education and the TEACh Scholarship Program, you can watch the recording now to learn about how foster youth and youth in transition are supported on their educational journeys in our community.

Power of Community

Good News from YOUR Ventura Community

A landscape view of Taft Gardens

Tucked away in Mira Monte is the Taft Gardens & Nature Preserve, a beautiful oasis of over 15 acres of cultivated gardens and over 200 acres of California Open Space just beyond. Access to this green space is possible thanks to the Conservation Endowment Fund, carrying out the Gardens’ mission through preservation, education and exploration of the land in Santa Ana Canyon.

The Gardens also offer art residency programs, nature immersion and mindfulness events, nature education and more.

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