Dear Friends of the Highlights Foundation,
I am thrilled to be your new Executive Director (read the press release.) This is a dream come true for me. I have been a Highlights kid all my life. When I was eight, my father had an idea to host a week-long conference for people interested in writing and illustrating for children.
That turned out to be the first of many week-long workshops that became the Highlights Foundation Writers Workshops at Chautauqua. Now, 34 years later, we’re still focused on our mission to improve the quality of children’s literature. We do that the way we know how–by hosting workshops for children’s authors and illustrators with a passion for their work.
I spent many a youthful summer working at the Highlights Foundation Writers Workshops at Chautauqua. Through hauling luggage, washing dishes, and making copies, I had the opportunity to participate in all aspects of these events. And along the way, I grew to understand the value of writing for children and the passion that goes into it.
Two years ago, I transitioned from my role at Highlights for Children, Inc. to work for the Highlights Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Over that time, we’ve added workshops and been able to serve more adults with a passion for writing and illustrating for children.
But most importantly, I have had a chance to meet so many wonderful people with a deep passion for their craft and a love of children in their heart. I’m often overwhelmed by the value each of our guests brings to the world through their writing and their art.
I’m excited to walk with all of you on this journey of writing and illustrating for children. As we build upon the conversations of today that are leading you to write tomorrow’s classics, I take pride in knowing the Highlights Foundation can play a small part in that. Whether it’s providing a timely workshop to help you through a specific place in your artistic endeavors or just a couple of days away on retreat where you can focus exclusively on your craft, I hope you’ll continue to support us.
We have so much to do to reach our budget goals: to attract new and returning writers and illustrators, to understand how donors and granting agencies can embrace our mission to improve the quality of children’s literature, and to continue the valuable conversations around what makes a great story for children.
I hope you’ll continue to support the Highlights Foundation by participating in our workshops and Unworkshops, by telling others about the work we do, and by making financial contributions as you can.
We work to serve you, writer and illustrator, so you can do the good work of creating stories for children. I am excited to be a part of this with you.
PS: Kent Brown, the Highlights Foundation founder, remains active being an Ambassador for the Foundation and pursuing plans for building projects to help us grow.