San Antonio College, other local organizations receive donations from billionaire
On June 15, we reported on a $40 million dollar donation to the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) by billionaire MacKenzie Scott and her husband, Dan Jewett. The generous move is part of a series of $2.74 billion in gifts to 286 organizations across the nation. However, UTSA isn’t the only San Antonio institution that is receiving a handsome sum from the philanthropists. San Antonio College, on the heels of being voted the top community college in the nation, was given $15 million. The Esperanza Center for Peace and Justice, along with the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, individually received $1 million each. The Moody Building at San Antonio College lit up in rainbow for Pride in 2019. “The Esperanza has worked for over 34 years to bring San Antonio’s diverse communities to greater mutual understanding and to strengthen the City’s Black and Brown communities through cultural grounding, preservation, and self-determination. The support from Scott and Jewett will enable us to expand this critical work,” says Graciela Sánchez, executive director of the Esperanza Center, in a press release. The funding from Scott will go towards the Museo del Westside as well the Esperanza Community Land Trust, which works to refurbish homeowners properties so they can continue to live within their communities. The National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, also located on the city’s Westside, also received part of the $2.74 billion, however has not yet announced the award at this time. The other local organizations honored have released public statements. RELATED: San Antonio College voted No. 1 community college in the US Scott, who was married to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, received a portion of the behemoth company's stock during the divorce settlement in 2019. On Tuesday, she announced the donations in a short blog post . “Because community-centered service is such a powerful catalyst and multiplier, we spent the first quarter of 2021 identifying and evaluating equity-oriented nonprofit teams working in areas that have been neglected. The result was $2,739,000,000 in gifts to 286 high-impact organizations in categories and communities that have been historically underfunded and overlooked,” writes Scott. None of the organizations selected were required to submit a bid for the unrestricted funding. “We are extremely grateful to receive this unsolicited and unrestricted award,” says Cristina Ballí, executive director of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, in a press statement. “We are humbled by this vote of confidence and know this will be transformational for our organization.” The Cultural Arts Center plans on using the donation to expand operations, programming, and revitalize some of their buildings.