Dallas-Based Big Thought Receives $4.3 Million From Wallace Foundation for Creative Learning Partnership

Dallas-based Big Thought has announced a $4.3 million grant from the Wallace Foundation for the continued funding of Thriving Minds, a creative-learning partnership that includes the city of Dallas, Dallas Independent School District, and more than a hundred arts, cultural, and community organizations.

The grant will enable the partnership to expand programs and services designed to ensure that every child in Dallas has access to learning opportunities which allow them to think creatively, excel academically, make healthy life choices, and contribute to their communities. Launched with support from Wallace in 2006, Thriving Minds will work to raise the quality of arts instruction in and out of school while expanding professional development opportunities for educators; link out-of-school arts to school curricula; adapt for nationwide use a quality-assessment tool; and launch two learning hubs in communities with high needs for arts programming.

To help kick off the second phase of the initiative, JPMorgan Chase has committed $350,000 for the expansion of Thriving Minds into South Dallas, beginning with the delivery of free, comprehensive academic, enrichment, and other support services through the Thriving Minds After-School program at Charles Rice Learning Center. Since its launch in November 2009, the program has worked to fill learning gaps by bringing more of the neighborhood's resources and support to afterschool participants.

"The Wallace Foundation's renewed support of Thriving Minds is a testament to the power of public-private partnerships to transform the lives of thousands of children. It will truly impact the future of our city," said Gigi Antoni, president and CEO of Big Thought. "This powerful partnership is unlike any in the country. Combining the resources offered by the city of Dallas, Dallas ISD, and our one-hundred-plus partners with the generosity of donors, we're able to multiply many times over our outreach and impact on Dallas children and families."