Donor Spotlight

Frances Phillips

Program Director, Arts- Walter & Elise Haas Foundation

A few years ago I had the opportunity to meet with the parents of four children who lived in Oakland. As we talked, I realized that their daughters were involved in many extracurricular activities—soccer, swimming, music, art, and dance. I asked them which organizations among the many their children attended were the strongest. Without hesitation, their answer was “Destiny. Destiny changes lives.”

I’ve remembered that line—Destiny changes lives—as I’ve watched the amazing Sarah Crowell lead workshops and speak on panels, as the organization invested in the impressive Cristy Johnston Limon as its new executive director, and as demand and programming continued to grow. I am impressed with Destiny at many levels, from its foresight to raise capital funds before identifying its future home, so that it would be in a good position to negotiate a mortgage; to its steadfast focus on advancing children’s power and safety through the arts.

At the time that the Walter and Elise Haas Fund’s board considered Destiny Arts’ capital request, the organization was close to its fundraising goal, but it wasn’t quite there. This Fund hopes that its vote of confidence in Destiny Arts and this capital campaign will inspire donors to come forward with funds needed to complete the project. It can be a great investment in Oakland’s young people: it can change their lives.

I can spot a Destiny Arts dancer from a mile away...they view performance as a forum for expressing the best parts of themselves.

Linda Carr
Dance Director, Berkeley High School