The Worthington Family Foundation 2020 distribution was divided among the following organizations:

  • The Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies in Mancelona, MI was awarded $22,800.00 for their environmental education program named Restoration Ecology for Young Students (REYS). This program is offered to K-12th grade students in the Grand Traverse Bay region. The REYS program uses field courses to help students develop the knowledge, skills, and character they need to be effective environmental stewards.
    The program concentrates on two areas: Understanding Ecology and Understanding Research. Understanding Ecology will focus on developing foundational understandings of watersheds, groundwater, ecosystems, ecosystem services and threats, and the benefits of native plants. The Understanding Research portion of the program will focus on helping students understand how to conduct controlled investigations, how to develop testable questions, how to conduct authentic research to answer real-world problems, and will culminate with students implementing their research to restore habitat they visited in the fall.
  • The Grass River Natural Area in Bellaire, MI is a nonprofit organization that is charged with protecting the extremely fragile and important Grass River watershed. The $19,238.08 awarded to the Grass River Natural Area in 2020 will be used to purchase resources, expand their intern program, enhance their on-line presence and assist in naturalist funding.
  • The Inland Seas Education Association (ISEA) based in Suttons Bay, MI mission is to inspire Great Lakes curiosity, stewardship, and passion in people of all ages. The $20,000 award to ISEA is to support their innovative offerings by presenting programs affordably for schools. Through hands−on experimental learning activities aboard a traditionally rigged tall ship schooner, participants gain the knowledge to understand the commitment for the long−term stewardship for the Great Lakes.
  • The Michigan Audubon guiding principles are to connect birds and people for the benefit of both. Their $27,000 award is for supporting their research and education activities at Whitefish Point Bird Observatory (WBPO). Our funding will allow for continuation and expansion of their on-site and virtual educational offerings and adjusting to the changing times.
  • Michigan Opera Theater in Detroit, MI provides students opportunities for exploring the arts through a variety of high quality and affordable education and outreach programs. Each year, thousands of elementary school students experience opera and the arts through programming that Michigan Opera Theater designs specifically for young children. Michigan Opera Theater was awarded $35,000 for tickets and transportation, touring operas to low income schools, and curation and delivery of online arts-based learning opportunities to supplement classroom instruction during the uncertainty of the current pandemic.
  • The Michigan State University Opera Theater of Lansing, MI is an ensemble of the Michigan State University College of Music, designed to provide vocal music students with high−level educational training through varied performing experiences. MSU Opera Theater was awarded $33,500 to support support one of two proposals submitted depending upon whether or not the University and community at large is back with face-to-face interaction or remains largely online. One proposal is for partial support for two live performances, the second is for educational opportunities for students either live or virtual.
  • The Norte of Traverse City, MI is dedicated to building stronger, better connected and more walk/bike friendly communities by empowering the young and young at heart. Their $12,000 funding will be used in its strategic transition from a membership fee-based Community Bike Shop and Bike Library to a fee-free facility accessible to all ages, abilities and financial capacity to serve and empower more people to choose an active transportation-focused lifestyle. Specifically the funds will be used for bicycles and equipment for children and to teach children on the proper use and maintenance of bicycles.
  • The Old Town Playhouse Children's Theater in Traverse City, Michigan, is a volunteer based organization promoting quality community theatre experiences for the people of Northwest Michigan by providing educational opportunities and entertainment in the theatrical arts. They were awarded $34,725.40 which will be used to:
    • Continue their current program that includes:
      • classes and camps
      • a ticket discount for families of students in their programs
      • scholarships
      • enhanced marketing
      • helping students to specially planned daytime performances of youth MainStage shows
    • expand technical training
    • replace well used dance shoes and expand the stock
    • commission a new play to help youth understand and communicate their feelings about the isolation caused by Covid-19 Stay at Home order
    • continue quality programming despite the challenges of Covid-19
  • Pewabic Pottery was founded by Michigan artist Mary Chase Perry Stratton in 1903 during the arts and crafts movement. Pewabic is a National Historic Landmark, non−profit ceramic arts education organization, a historic working pottery and an American heritage site. Pewabic Pottery is dedicated to supporting and promoting ceramic art and artists, as well as preserving Pewabic Pottery's century−old heritage. Pewabic Pottery was awarded $40,000 to provide art and culture experiences to Detroit′s underserved children and youth through productive and long−term collaborations with Detroit Public Schools and community centers. These funds allow Pewabic to maintain the equipment, staff, and resources needed to successfully inspire children to see the world in new ways through the medium of clay.
  • The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra is a state-wide orchestra that offers concerts and programs at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences in Charleston, WV, as well as locations throughout West Virginia and bordering . The West Virginia Symphony Orchestra was awarded $10,000 in project support for the String Education Partnership in order to serve underserved West Virginian youth with music education and live orchestral music of the highest artistic quality.