Challenge to engage new donors to fulfill the Foundation’s mission
The Van Wezel Foundation kicks off its year-end giving season with a $50,000 challenge from philanthropists, Vern and Liliana Chalfant, who share a passion for arts education and integration to enhance learning. The Chalfant’s are also deeply committed to the vision of a new Sarasota Performing Arts Center to serve as a mission-based civic asset throughout the Gulf Coast region. This is a perfect example of how philanthropy can support the Foundation’s mission to create a world-class performing arts center that enriches the community, supports arts education and challenges young minds. To encourage donations this holiday season and beyond, the CHALFANT CHALLENGE will match dollar for dollar new and increased contributions.
“Growing up in Colombia, I was immersed in the rich history and culture of my country and received a well-rounded education through the arts,” commented Liliana Chalfant. “Music, theater, sculpture, and painting – the arts are important to ensure the vitality of a community. We believe the CHALFANT CHALLENGE can bring people together for a greater good and is an extraordinary way to live by my family’s motto: “La unión hace la fuerza,” which means “unity creates strength.”
As a board member of the Van Wezel Foundation, Vern Chalfant is passionate that the arts can truly impact lives. “If the arts can help children from underserved communities thrive in today’s challenging world, they are a worthy investment,” he noted. “We all have a role to play to enhance the lives of children and their families and I am hopeful that the CHALFANT CHALLENGE will encourage people from all levels of giving to get involved in this important work .”
The CHALFANT CHALLENGE will be issued from December 2020 through March 2021. Cheryl Mendelson, CEO of the Van Wezel Foundation, shares, “Through this challenge, we can extend our support for vital arts experiences that bring our mission deeper into the community. We are grateful for the Chalfant’s vision and the inspiration they bring to our community.”