Southern Ohio Folklife joins Scioto Foundation


Local funding management organization, the Scioto Foundation, has announced the creation of the Southern Ohio Folklife Endowment Fund.

The organizational fund is being established for the benefit of the new nonprofit’s efforts to embrace the rich folklife of eleven counties in this part of Appalachian Ohio. The new endowment fund will be used for support of the research, community engagement or educational purposes of Southern Ohio Folklife. The new nonprofit plans to participate in the Foundation’s 2022 Scioto Gives campaign on October 20.

“Southern Ohio Folklife is excited to join the Scioto Foundation family this year, because we are interested in connecting with other organizations in the area and growing our potential for long-term investment to carry out folklife projects. Building our capacity early on will help us develop intentionally and sustainably,” said Southern Ohio Folklife Executive Director Cassie Rosita Patterson. “Our goal for this endowment fund includes but is not limited to supporting folklife research and programming that fosters cultural understanding and solidarity between Latine and Appalachian communities across southern Ohio.”

This is one of 46 endowment funds that the Scioto Foundation hosts, alongside many other funding sources for annual grants, including 325 separate component funds. The organization is built around non-profit organizational stability and project support. Southern Ohio Folklife is excited to join the ranks.

“There are so many benefits to having an organizational endowment. For starters, one of the key elements of a vibrant and healthy community is a strong nonprofit sector,” Scioto Foundation’s Toni Dengel explained. “These organizations can play a crucial role in providing critical services that contribute to the area’s economic stability. Endowments provide nonprofits the security of a financial safety net when experiencing fundraising shortfalls, ensuring the health of that nonprofit and its good work in the community.”

The purpose and mission of Southern Ohio Folklife is to research, support, document and network folklife within the Southern Ohio region, focusing specifically on Clermont, Brown, Highland, Adams, Ross, Pike, Scioto, Vinton, Jackson, Lawrence and Gallia Counties.

According to a release, after receiving a planning grant from Ohio Humanities in 2021, Southern Ohio Folklife has been awarded a quarterly grant to continue its work with the Latine community. The nonprofit seeks to deepen and expand existing relationships in the area, recruiting more collaborators and stakeholders and continuing to build collaborative frameworks with the project Steering Committee and to contextualize Latine life in the area.

They also intend to continue exploring Latine life in the southern Ohio region through recording three to four bilingual oral histories with Latine leaders, to establish a bilingual archival collection with the Center for Public History at Shawnee State, and plan to present their work at a public event and solicit feedback from community members.

The grant was made possible by Ohio Humanities and collaborators for the project include the South Central Ohio Educational Service Center and the Center for Public History at Shawnee State University.

The Project Steering Committee includes Joseph D. (J.D.), Dr. Sophia Enriquez, Dr. Andrew Feight, Dr. Elena Foulis, Edwin Martell, Hector Reffit, and Dr. Pablo Salinas. Among local leaders serving on the Southern Ohio Folklife Board are Dr. Barbara Bradbury, Steve Free, and Edwin Martell. Multigenerational Appalachian artist Liza Jane Boggz, is a member of the Advisory Committee.

Contributions to the Southern Ohio Folklife Endowment Fund may be made at any time. Donations may be in the form of gifts of cash, securities or property.

Additional information about the Southern Ohio Folklife Fund or other planned giving opportunities at the Scioto Foundation may be obtained by contacting Patty Tennant, Program Office – Donor Services, or SF Executive Director Kim Cutlip at (740) 354-4612.

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