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Community Foundation of White County

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  • Writer's pictureLucy Dold

A Love Story: Community Foundations and Jazz Music

For those who know me personally, you might recognize that I am a woman with many passions in life ranging from philanthropy and youth advocacy to education, mental health, and of course, my lifelong love of jazz.

Jazz, with its improvisational spirit and dynamic rhythms, shares a unique kinship with community foundations. Both embody the essence of flexibility, embracing change while maintaining a foundational structure. No two jazz performances will ever be identical, just as no two community foundations will ever be identical. Let’s continue exploring together some of these brilliant similarities.

1. Improvisation as a Core Element:

Jazz thrives on improvisation, where musicians respond to each other and the changing mood of the performers. Similarly, the community foundation must be capable of improvising responses to the ever-changing needs of our community. We pivot, adapt, and innovate to address emerging challenges, much like jazz musicians adjust their melodies on the fly.

2. Responsive to Change:

Both jazz and community foundations are inherently responsive to change. Jazz seamlessly weaves new influences into its tapestry, whether it’s the blues, Latin rhythms, or electronic elements. Likewise, community foundations respond to changing demographics, economic landscapes, and societal challenges in their counties. We adjust our strategies and initiatives to meet the evolving demands.

3. Collaboration and Harmony:

Jazz often involves collaborative efforts, with musicians harmonizing their unique sounds to create something greater than originally designed. Similarly, community foundations foster collaboration among diverse stakeholders—nonprofits, businesses, government entities, and residents—to create a harmonious environment for community development. The synergy of these collaborations mirrors the rich harmonies found in jazz compositions.

4. Cultural Preservation and Innovation:

Jazz, while rooted in history and tradition, is also a genre of constant innovation. It preserves cultural elements while pushing the boundaries of expression. Similarly, the community foundation balances preservation of local heritage with innovative solutions to address new challenges. They honor the community’s past while fostering a

forward-looking approach to community development.

In the expressive dance between jazz music and community foundations, we find a shared mission of adaptability, collaboration, and responsiveness to change. As we look to the future, we know that the coming compositions will continue to uplift and inspire.


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