The VIRGINIA J. WILKINS FOUNDATION, a private, not-for-profit Foundation incorporated in the State of Kansas, is seeking Grant Applications for calendar year 2019.

The Foundation’s Mission is to maximize the value of its finances so that it may assist the community of Arkansas City in providing a quality cultural environment of Arts, Music, language and other endeavors, which many times are shadowed by the importance placed upon athletic achievements.

Grant awards must be in keeping with the Mission of the Foundation which is to financially assist organizations within the community having an IRS 501 C3 designation or organizations affiliated under an umbrella of an organization having charitable or philanthropic IRS designation or educational institutions.

The Foundation prefers projects where matching funds are contributed by the applicant. If the Grant applicant is unable to provide financial assistance, the applicant must be willing to participate with in-kind services and to be a willing partner in all forms of communication read by the public such as press releases, banners, newsletters or advertising.

In 2014, the Foundation awarded $450,000 to the community. In 2015, the Foundation awarded $416,777.00 to the community. Recipients for 2015 included: the Arkansas City Area Arts Council to establish a “seeds mentoring” program to facilitate local artists seeking growth in their discipline and as well as growth of the Arkansas City Arts Program; the City of Arkansas City to pay for a master plan for Wilson Park and the additional 4.5 acre vacated hospital parcel located North of Birch Avenue, between 1st and 2nd Streets; the Cherokee Strip Land Rush Museum to complete installation of HVAC for its Theater area and updating its sound system; Cowley College for musical instruments and to initiate a Theater in the round featuring William Shakespeare’s “A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream” will be performed; the Arkansas City Public Library to assist in converting micro-film to digital; the Chaplain Nature Center for rebuilding the staircase, providing access to the lower Forrest flood plain; and the Burford Renovation Project, which celebrated its completion in the fall of 2016.

Otis W. Morrow, local Attorney, assisted Ms. Wilkins in creating the Foundation and is serving as a Member of its Board of Trustees. Ms. Wilkins cousins, C. Grant Wilkins and James M. Wilkins, both prominent business men of Denver, Colorado, also serve as Trustees by appointment of Ms. Wilkins. Karen E. Zeller, a local business woman is the fourth Trustee.

A benefit of this type of Foundation is that a minimum of 5% of the account value of the foundation must be expended yearly and therefore each year provides an opportunity to renew funding for projects in the community satisfying its Mission Statement.

Deadline for submitting applications is July 1, 2020 with Grant Awards to be determined by the end of Summer and Grant disbursements completed before year end.