Downtown Celebrates the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation’s 15th Anniversary
In 2007, Downtown Arlington was a very different place. Anchored by the University of Texas at Arlington on its southern edge, Downtown was a disconnected collection of small businesses, a few local favorites like J. Gilligan’s, and a handful of cultural institutions including Theatre Arlington, the Arlington Museum of Art, Arlington Music Hall, Knapp Heritage Park, and Miss Persis Dance Studio.
Just look at our growing creative and entrepreneurial community today!
While there have been many advocates for game-changing investments in Downtown Arlington over the last fifteen years, we would argue that the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation stands out for its thoughtful, strategic, and consistent dedication to programs and projects that improve quality of life, not just in Downtown but throughout our city.
Founded in 2007, the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation was established to ensure that the City's natural gas drilling revenues benefit Arlington citizens for generations to come. With Executive Director Carolyn Mentesana at its helm since Day One, ATF and its Board have done more than plant seeds in Downtown Arlington. They’ve nurtured a prosperous and diverse forest of cultural and service institutions that not only enrich our community but attract on-going economic investment.
Arlington Tomorrow Foundation’s Lasting Impact in Downtown Arlington
Arlington Tomorrow Foundation partnerships with Downtown non-profits began when the organization stepped up as an early donor to the Levitt Pavilion in 2008. Years later, ATF was the largest donor to the George W. Hawkes Downtown Library. ATF also supported the re-imagining of Theatre Arlington’s building, which opened earlier this year, and Green Oaks School’s state of the art life prep academy.
The Foundation has also supported public art projects like the DREAM sculpture, and is fully funding the Mineral Well Fountain and Clock Tower, which will be completed in 2023.
Over the last fifteen years, ATF has also partnered with Downtown non-profits including Arlington Urban Ministries, Green Oaks School, Theatre Arlington, the Greater Arlington Chamber Foundation, The University of Texas at Arlington, Mission Arlington, First United Methodist Church, Dental Health Arlington, the Municipal Court, and Knapp Heritage Park.
As an organization, Downtown Arlington has also directly benefited from ATF’s partnership on several key projects including the Ramblin’ Roads Music Festival and the Downtown Health & Wellness Series.
This year, ATF is presenting sponsor of the Levitt Pavilion’s Share the Stage program, which supports local and rising musical talent, and the Arlington Museum of Art’s blockbuster exhibit, Disney Art from Private Collections, which is on track to become one of the museum’s top three most successful exhibitions of all time.
“The legacy of the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation in Downtown Arlington, particularly for our cultural institutions, can’t be understated,” said Maggie Campbell, President and CEO of Downtown Arlington Management Corporation. “Arts and cultural institutions and programs are the heart and soul of a community. ATF truly has made Arlington an even better place to call home.”
Next up for the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation and the non-profit community in Arlington? Arlington Gives! and North Texas Giving Day.
Arlington Gives! and North Texas Giving Day
North Texas Giving Day is a massive effort by the Communities Foundation of Texas to raise awareness and money for our region’s non-profits. Through a centralized online platform northtexasgivingday.org, donors can give to charities of their choice. The giving site goes live on Sept. 1 and is open through midnight on the official North Texas Giving Day, which is Sept. 22.
Arlington is by far the most visible and active city participant in NTX Giving Day. Arlington Gives! is the name of our city-wide campaign.
“In 2014, we recognized that North Texas Giving Day was a very important and effective machine,” said Carolyn, “and we wanted to harness the power of that machine here in Arlington.”
The Arlington Tomorrow Foundation helps non-profit organizations leverage NTX Giving Day in many ways. ATF offers numerous ways for non-profits to earn grants throughout the day on September 22 by activating their volunteer and donor base, culminating in an Arlington Gives! event and concert at the Levitt Pavilion.
For more information, visit the ATF website. #ArlingtonGives
The Forest and the Trees
Over the last 15 years, the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation has funded nearly 500 worthy projects and initiatives all over the city. But the Foundation's greatest gift by far is its ability to see and nurture both the forest and the trees.
“Even though we are the largest grant funder in our city, the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation’s mission is much bigger than writing checks,” said Carolyn. “We strive to teach organizations how to activate their volunteers and donors. That’s why we take such an proactive role in North Texas Giving Day and offer grant opportunities through our own Arlington Gives! campaign. We want every non-profit in Arlington to leverage this event as a giant megaphone to their base, because we know if they do, it can be an amplifier for all of their efforts year-round.”