Major Initiatives

Charleen & Charles Hinson Amphitheater

With so many vibrant music, theater, ballet and other performance arts groups in New Albany, as well as several community events that would benefit from an outdoor community venue, the Foundation is leading the effort to build an outdoor amphitheater in New Albany. The project moved closer to reality when a respected New Albany family generously stepped forward to donate $500,000 toward the amphitheater. Thus, the future venue will be called the Charleen & Charles Hinson Amphitheater. Read more…

The Jefferson Series

Inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s appreciation for lifelong learning and encouraged by the success of its Remarkable Evening lectures, The New Albany Community Foundation established The Jefferson Series in 2013. It features a collection of stimulating forums featuring some of the country’s most compelling thought leaders. The series’ namesake, Thomas Jefferson, believed that each of us must “light his taper at mine … that ideas should freely spread from one to another.” Read more…

The Jefferson Series Student Lectures

In most cases, when the Foundation hosts a prominent speaker, it also facilitates a student lecture. In addition to New Albany students, the lectures draw students from over 20 area high schools including inner city, suburban and rural districts, as well as public and private schools. The Foundation donates books written by the speakers to students in advance of the lecture so that participants in the lectures are knowledgeable about the subjects. Read more…

Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts

The Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts was made possible through a unique collaboration between the New Albany Community Foundation, Village of New Albany, Plain Township and the New Albany-Plain Local School District. As an anchor on the New Albany Learning Community campus, the McCoy Center provides opportunities for students in the school district to participate in and be exposed to arts education as a basic component of a comprehensive public-school education, and it also provides community members access to enriching educational and cultural programming, fostering an appreciation of arts and culture by providing lifelong opportunities through education, exposure and participation. Over 25,000 patrons visit the McCoy Center each season to view the 100+ annual performances.

The Foundation played an instrumental role in convening the stakeholders who built the McCoy Center, and it established endowment funds to sustain quality cultural and educational programming. Each year through its arts endowment funds, the Foundation awards a significant grant to the McCoy Center in support of its mission.

Visit the McCoy Center website »

New Albany Branch Library

In 2002, the Foundation led an effort to raise funds for the book collections for the New Albany Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library. The Foundation raised over $1 million for the branch, which cleared the way for construction of a new, regional public library. As part of its Library Fund Campaign, the Foundation hosted two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough as a featured guest lecturer. The event was a success. McCullough returned in 2003 to dedicate the library. Today, the library is one of the most frequently visited branches in the Columbus Metropolitan Library system. The Foundation also helped fund a Homework Help Center in the library.

Following the dedication of the library, the New Albany branch was named in honor of Charlotte P. Kessler, a longtime supporter and advocate for libraries. Mrs. Kessler played a key role in founding the Columbus Metropolitan Library Foundation and its Celebration of Learning annual benefit. She currently serves on The New Albany Community Foundation Board of Trustees. Read more…

Visit the New Albany Branch Library website »

Safety Town

In 2004, a group of mothers in the community approached the Foundation and proposed that a Safety Town Program be established. Safety Town is a day-camp for children entering kindergarten or first grade designed to teach life skills to promote safety. The program teaches safety life skills in areas such as pedestrian & bike safety, stranger awareness, fire safety, water safety, animal safety and school bus safety. The Foundation convened the New Albany Police Department and the Plain Township Fire Department to develop the program, and since 2004 over 4000 rising kindergarten and first graders have graduated from Safety Town.

Visit the New Albany Safety Town website »

New Albany Scholars Author Residency Program

Motivated by the opportunity to provide K-12 students with personal interactions with inspiring authors, New Albany residents Carolyn & Lance White initiated New Albany Scholars by establishing an endowment fund with The New Albany Community Foundation. The author residency program facilitates up-close and personal interactions between students and respected authors, who explore the creative process together. To touch every student and promote a love of reading, the endowed program brings an author to each school building as selected by the teaching staff on an annual basis. Further, one student (New Albany Scholar) from each building is eligible to earn a scholarship based on criteria created by each school and related to the author visits. The New Albany Scholars program receives additional financial support from the New Albany PTO groups, New Albany Women’s Network and the Lynne & Martyn Redgrave Family Fund of the Foundation.

Healthy New Albany

Healthy New Albany is a volunteer-driven movement designed to embrace healthy living through community activities, events and personalized wellness and disease prevention.

Philip is the visionary leader of Healthy New Albany. Heit is a Professor Emeritus of Physical Activity and Educational Services at The Ohio State University and co-authored a number of health & wellness books used in schools across America.

Heit launched the New Albany Walking Club and the New Albany Walking Classic. Later, he collaborated with The New Albany Community Foundation to form Healthy New Albany.

A 501c3 organization, Healthy New Albany sponsors and promotes the New Albany Walking Classic, New Albany Farmers Market, New Albany Community Garden, New Albany Lecture Series and Healthy New Albany Magazine.

The grass-roots driven movement also partnered with the City of New Albany, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and Nationwide Children’s Hospital to develop the Philip Heit Center for Healthy New Albany in the heart of historic New Albany.

The 55,000-square-foot center features health and wellness services and programming, fitness facilities and community space.

Healthy New Albany’s lofty goal is to make New Albany the healthiest community in America and to serve as a model for cities across the country.

Well-Being Initiative

A number of studies underscore that more and more young people today experience anxiety, stress, bullying and other behavioral health challenges. As a result, teenage suicide rates have risen.

In response to this, The New Albany Community Foundation used its Jefferson Series lectures as a platform to engage the community in a dialogue about mental health, especially as it relates to students. Moreover, the Foundation endeavored to remove the stigma surrounding mental health.

The Foundation hosted Mariel Hemmingway, Patrick Kennedy, Elizabeth Vargas and Glenn Close. All are well known advocates for mental health.

Since the Foundation started the dialogue, community minded benefactors have stepped forward to advance this effort. Their goal is to create a supportive environment for our youth that ensures they possess a strong sense of well-being, which is defined as being healthy both physically and mentally.

These forward-thinking community leaders, along with New Albany-Plain Local School officials and The Foundation, formed an unprecedented Well-Being Initiative to create a lasting, effective and comprehensive well-being program for New Albany students.

The school district already had a variety of good educational programs, prevention tools and crisis-management protocols designed to address students’ developmental needs and to assist parents, faculty and staff members in supporting the students’ well-being. Adding substantially more resources, it is hoped, will transform it into a national, best-in-class well-being program.

The focal point for this new initiative is a leadership and advisory team composed of mental-health professionals — experts drawn from the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Nationwide Children’s Hospital and ADAMH — school district officials, community leaders, parents and other experienced individuals.

The team, in concert with New Albany School leaders and staff, is reviewing the district’s well-being programs and looking for opportunities for improvement and areas for additional programming based on proven best practices from other exemplary programs throughout the country

Importantly, each adopted program will be accessible, accountable, measurable and cost-effective, and it will be evaluated continuously for possible improvement.

To support and sustain evidenced based programming in the schools, community benefactors have formed a “Well-Being Initiative” endowment fund at the Foundation.