Puffin Foundation West
Press and Announcements for Puffin Foundation West
Meet a Member: Java Kitrick
“Integrating art into your
everyday working life is almost
like a vacation.”
The New Jersey–based Puffin Foundation has been making grants in Columbus since 1986, thanks to Java Kitrick, daughter of Puffin founder and president Perry Rosenstein. A fervent advocate for the arts, literacy, and education, in addition to social justice, human rights, and environmental issues, Java is also the director of Puffin West, a new Columbus-based nonprofit agency that will begin making grants in 2011, operating independently from its sister organization on the East Coast.
The Wexner Center has enjoyed Puffin Foundation support for over a decade—for film/video programming and, over the past four years, for the Pages art-and-writing high school program. Puffin’s support of the Wex took some initial lobbying, as the foundation’s typical grant recipients are emerging artists who may struggle to find financial support due to the genre or social philosophy of their work. However, as Java explains, “the leadership of the Wexner Center and its unabashed commitment to unique, inspiring, educational, and at times controversial programming ultimately made this commitment easy. The Wex has continuously brought to our city a global experience, and what happens there 365 days a year is extraordinary.” The Puffin Foundation has since made grants to other central Ohio organizations including Central Community House, radio station WCRS 98.3/102.1, and the Columbus Jewish Film Festival.
Java and her husband, Mark—attorney, writer, musician, and overall Renaissance man—have also supported the Wex as Donor Circles members for the better part of 15 years. “As Donor Circles members, we have been invited to numerous intimate encounters with acclaimed guest artists,” notes Java. “These indelible experiences would never have been part of lives if we had made similar donations in New York City, L.A., or Chicago.
Being members of the Wexner Center is one of the best things we do in Columbus year after year.” The support of organizations like the Puffin Foundation and individual donors such as Java and Mark Kitrick is essential to the Wexner Center and its efforts to advance contemporary art in all media, provide meaningful arts and educational experiences for learners of all ages, and enhance cultural and intellectual life for this community and far beyond. Please join us in thanking them for their generosity.
Elaine Gounaris and Lisa Wente, Wexner Center Development Officers