November 13, 2020
World House Choir at the Speak Up for Justice Rally at Mills Lawn Elementary School

Did You Know?

The World House Choir goes virtual . . . for now!

In Her Own Words—Executive Director, Catherine Roma

On March 9, 2020, 110 singers gathered at Sinclair Community College to prepare songs for the Poor People’s Campaign and Reverend Dr. William Barber’s scheduled visit to Dayton in April. The energy was infectious, the sound deeply moving.
At the same time, we were working toward a concert with MUSE Cincinnati’s Women’s Choir to perform a work, Lifting As We Climb, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment.
Sadly, our rehearsals stopped in early March because of the COVID-19 outbreak. 
Fast forward. How are we managing with COVID-19? Singers are known as super spreaders, not the most complimentary of names! The arts nourish a deep human need. We miss the beauty, the human connection, expression, and spiritual balm we experience every Monday night when we sing in community at the Foundry Theater.
When COVID-19 numbers started to decrease, the choir held five rehearsals outside behind Mills Lawn School. We were physically distanced and wore masks. We prepped music for Black Lives Matter appearances in Dayton and for the Yellow Springs “Speaking Up for Justice” rallies. In late August, the choir organized a program and performed at the YS Women’s Park to mark the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment granting women the right to vote.
Once the COVID-19 numbers started to creep up, we decided it unwise to rehearse in person and went back into the Zoom world. During these online rehearsals we’ve learned a few new songs, but primarily we sing pieces we know. We’ve also invited guests for learning sessions. In November, Dr. Tammy Kernodle, Professor of Musicology at Miami University, will present a session on Black women composers, resistance culture, and the American concert hall, as well as a discussion about the current culture of protest music. 
Soon we will release our first virtual choir performance, All Lifted Hearts. It features Barbara Leeds on piano, five strings players, and more than sixty singers. 
We were pleased to perform virtually for Agraria’s 2020 Fall conference this November and are also in the process of preparing a virtual presentation for the Yellow Springs annual Martin Luther King program in January 2021.
Donate to World House Choir 
For more information about World House Choir 



The Inclusive and Resilient Yellow Springs Coalition, funded from a collaborative YSCF grant, is up and running! Member organizations have been meeting since late summer to identify barriers to opportunity in the village in many forms, including access to information for African Americans for equity in housing, jobs, and education, and other essential pillars that make a community equitable for all.

The coalition is developing plans to implement affirmative marketing and outreach within Yellow Springs as well as throughout the Greater Dayton Metropolitan area, including gathering information from community contacts about the perceptions of Yellow Springs as well as work we can do to build strong support systems for Black people living here or looking to live / work / play here.

Currently, the coalition is represented by 8 members from various organizations, including: Yellow Springs Home, Inc., the Yellow Springs Chamber of Commerce, Yellow Springs Schools, The 365 Project, the Yellow Springs Community Foundation, the Senior Center, and the Village of Yellow Springs.

This project is the work of many community members, and will include more as it progresses. The more we can shine light on inequity, the more we can eliminate barriers right here in our own village. Everyone has a part to play in making Yellow Springs a more equitable community. 
Foundation Highlight
The Grants Review Committee

It is a common experience to hear a Grants Review Committee (GRC) member note the joy they experience when awarding grants to local nonprofits. Grant making, after all, is one of the key reasons for the Foundation's existence. 
GRC members, who include a number of Foundation Trustees, staff, and members of the Yellow Springs community, are entrusted with the expectation of granting funds in alignment with the Foundation's mission to enhance community life. And in our current moment of pandemic flux, the GRC and Board of Trustees continue to “adjust and flex” to enhance life in our community.
The process for approving grants includes reviewing all grant request applications, recommending to Trustees for approval which grants to fund, how much to fund, and from which fund the money should come. While all grants are ultimately approved by the Trustees, the GRC has a large responsibility in that it must consider the amount of money available to grant, which projects coincide with the Foundation's mission, and which fund best fits each project based on the fund's purpose.
Of the 171 funds held at the Foundation,13 currently provide funding that falls under the auspices of the GRC. Grants from the GRC are generally awarded to 501c3 nonprofit organizations within Yellow Springs and Miami Township and/or that serve our community. In this way, the GRC helps to fulfill the Foundation's mission over and over again by weighing community needs while managing your donations. Thank you for entrusting us with this responsibility.
Current Grant Making Guidelines
Apply for a Grant
  Our Journey

Foundation Trustees and Staff are continuing to internally address the different ways we become more diverse, equitable, and inclusive as an organization.
Some questions that Foundation Trustees and staff have been considering regarding Diversity, Racial Equity (or just equity), and Inclusion include the following:
  • How best do we communicate our values that include our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion to the public, staff, and volunteers?
  • How are we creating opportunities to listen to young leaders, unrepresented and marginalized populations within our community?
  • How do our grant-making guidelines align with our community's nonprofits' commitments to diversity, equity, and inclusion?
  • How do we measure the progress we are making? What will this success look like?

You're welcome to Join Us on our journey.
We would love to hear your thoughts on how we and the community can make these structural changes:

Thank You Again & Again to Our Many Wonderful Volunteers! 

100 + in all, supporting: Child Care - Data Support - Faith Community - Food Security & Bread Runners - Logistics - Mask Makers - NBCs - Research - Senior Care - Committee Members
Interested in joining us in support of our community? Become a volunteer or committee member:


Thank You Generous Donors!
You are vital to our village and township!

COVID-19 Emergency Fund Donors (week of 11/11) Tammy Emrick - Susan & Phil Miller - Suzanne Smailes - Mary Stukenberg

Donors to Community Foundation Funds (week of 11/11) Lisa Abel & Lynn Adams - David Demmy - Steven Grinnell - Kathryn Hitchcock - Michael Hughes - Linda Johnson-Dillenbeck - Richard Lapedes & Maureen Lynch - Jim Niswander - Lynn & Tim Sontag - Heide Zajonc

Join us! To donate to funds at YSCF:

Events & News

KICK OFF your giving this season on Tuesday, December 1st: Join us and more than 30 nonprofits at

DONATE to the YS Community Children’s Center Capital Campaign, Give for Today, Plan for TomorrowYSCCC Capital Campaign

SUBSCRIBE to our Foundation Friday Newsletter:

WE WEAR A MASK to protect you. Please wear a mask to protect us and your neighbors.

Our Mission 
Entrusted with the responsibility of enhancing community life, we are a catalyst and resource for local charitable giving and grant making.


Lisa Abel, President, Richard Bullock, Vice President, Matthew Denman, Treasurer,  Todd Leventhal, Vice Treasurer, Kayla Rothman-Zecher, Secretary, 
Theresa Graham, Angie Hsu, Artie Isaac, Ellis Jacobs, Joanne Lakomski, Joshua Mabra, Roger Reynolds, Kathryn Van der Heiden 

Jeannamarie Cox, Executive Director
Kimberly Kremer, Financial Administrator
Kat Walter, Program Manager
Melissa Heston, Outreach Manager
Harvey Curran, Volunteer Project Manager

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