Arts and Culture represents the innovation and creativity of a society. Through cultural endeavors we help bring people together from all walks of life to share their creative talents, intellects, passions, customs and bold initiatives to explore new ways of doing things. In the areas of theatre, art, dance, and music the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation grants have helped organizations reach a broader audience, infused new life into programs and created long-lasting cultural traditions within our communities.
Montana Folk Festival (Main Street Uptown Butte)
The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation is a major supporter of the yearly Montana Folk Festival. This annual July event in Butte, Montana, features performances by hundreds of the nation’s finest musicians, dancers and craftspeople. In addition to the performance stages, there are several themed festival areas: the Montana Folk Life Area, the Family Area, two Festival Marketplaces and the Festival Food Courts.
From the beginning, the goal has been to build coalitions and collaborations of arts and festival sponsors to garner permanent support for the annual Montana Folk Festival.
The festival site is situated in the heart of the nation’s largest National Historic Landmark District in Butte, Montana. The Stage offers a panoramic view of Butte’s historic high rise buildings and the surrounding mountains, and is located on the site of the original mine yard — a remnant of Butte’s early days as Montana’s copper mining capital.
Missoula Children’s Theatre
The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation has been a supporter of The Missoula Children’s Theatre (MCT) since 1990. The MCT organization includes MCT Community Theatre, local youth programs such as the Teen Art Group, Performing Arts Camps, Next Step Prep, and an international touring group in addition to its namesake, the Children’s Theatre.
The Missoula Children’s Theatre has delighted audiences with its performances for over 40 years but its mission still remains the same: education and enrichment of children through entertainment and the arts.
“Within each MCT cast, girls and boys are equal; the disabled become able; the shy experiment with bravery; the slow are rehearsed to perfection; and the gifted become part of the whole. The lesson they learn is that all are necessary for the show to go on. Few arenas exist where responsibility is taught and learned so clearly. MCT provides a unique opportunity to learn the lessons of group dynamics while excelling as an individual—a lesson from art that carries into life.” – Missoula Children’s Theatre
SPARK! Arts Integration
The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation, the city of Missoula, Missoula County Public Schools, and a wide array of local arts organizations have teamed up to help bring our community a John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Any Given Child Initiative. The program, developed by the Kennedy Center, focuses on ensuring equal access to diverse arts learning opportunities for any given child in our K-12 public school system. We believe that the Arts have a collective power to ignite the imagination, spark innovation through creativity, and transform learning. The Missoula Any Given Child program has been re-branded as SPARK! Arts Ignite Learning.
SPARK! works in collaboration with artists, classroom teachers, university staff, school administration, and volunteers to ensure that the arts are an essential part of every school day. SPARK! promotes Arts Enhancement, Arts Integration, Art for Art’s Sake, and a program called STEM to STEAM: Science Technology Engineering Arts & Math.