Annual Appeal | 2016

December 5, 2016

We know Harvardians love a good competition, so we’re throwing down the gauntlet and asking you to meet our first-ever Founders’ Challenge this winter! All you have to do is donate any amount to Harvardwood by the end of 2016 and it will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $10,000! To double your donation, please make a gift by Dec. 31st. Our goal is to achieve 100% participation from our members.

2016_Heroes_collage.jpgHarvardwood began in 1999 as an informal email list of Harvard alums working in the arts, media, and entertainment. Thanks to the vision, commitment, and tireless efforts of dedicated volunteers, including Harvardwood Founders Mia Riverton Alpert, Stacy Cohen, and Adam Fratto, Harvardwood has since exploded into a vibrant community with multiple chapters worldwide and an online database of 7,500+ Harvard-affiliated subscribers.

Last month, longtime Harvardwood supporters and donors were invited to a private reception hosted by Ken & Jann Williams to recognize the recipients of our Heroes community service grants and to thank our 2016 Heroes program sponsors. At the 2016 Heroes celebration, we announced the inaugural Founders’ Challenge, with a record-breaking matching gift of $10,000!

This matching-gift opportunity couldn’t come at a better time. Harvardwood continually strives to provide meaningful resources, educational programs, and professional events for our members globally, and we’re thrilled to report the following key achievements in 2016:

  • Meaningful community service opportunities organized via Harvardwood Helps, including the Great LA River Clean-up, the 9.11 Memorial Blood Drive, and the InsideOUT Writers (IOW) weekly Writing Circle

  • The growing Harvardwood Mentorship Program, with pairings made between industry newcomers and well-established Harvard alumni mentors in Los Angeles, Boston, and Chicago

  • Our support of fresh, diverse voices from the Writers Competition and the Writers Program (TV & Features), who have been staffed on ANGIE TRIBECA, BILLIONS, GIRLFRIENDS’ GUIDE TO DIVORCE, GREAT NEWS, LEGENDS OF TOMORROW, POWER, and more, not to mention program alums with pilot sales to ABC, the CW, Showtime, Sony, Spike, Syfy, and TV Land

  • The 2016 Harvardwood Heroes, whose grants will support the following arts-related nonprofit initiatives: MindUP with Movies (The Dalles, Oregon), No Limits Media (Boston, MA), Harvard ARTZ (Cambridge, MA), and GlassRoots (Newark, NJ)

  • CYMERA_20161205_153057.jpgThe publication of Harvardwood Press’s first original anthology, The Seven Deadly Sins, available for purchase now

  • And finally, a packed events calendar with masterclasses spanning a broad array of topics (The Art of Pitching with Maiya Verrone Williams; TV Drama Writing with Jeff Melvoin; Reality TV with Dave Eilenberg), jazz and classical music concerts, exclusive screenings + Q&As, and author talks and book signings

Looking ahead, our goal is to innovate ways to support emerging artists, particularly underrepresented voices, in their arts, media, or entertainment careers. We’re glad that the conversation, on- and off-campus, has focused on both the importance of the arts and arts education and on diversifying the arts. In those respects, it’s not a stretch to say that Harvardwood has been ahead of the curve. As an example, our Writers Program is 35% diverse and 55% of the participating writers are women; this January, 48% of the Harvard College students attending the Harvardwood 101 January term program are diverse, and 52% are women.

With your donation, Harvardwood can continue to support new voices and underrepresented perspectives in the arts, media, and entertainment. Crimson-level donors and above ($250+) will receive exclusive invitations to private Harvardwood events, but the focus of the Founders’ Challenge is participation, not amount.

So in honor of our Founders, invest in Harvardwood’s future and participate in the Founders’ Challenge!

Thank you for your consideration and past support. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have about Harvardwood by email, phone, or in person. And we look forward to seeing you at a Harvardwood event soon, if not our Dec. 7th Holly Jolly Jubilee!


Mia Riverton Alpert, Founder
Stacy Cohen, Founder
Adam Fratto, Founder
Allison Kiessling, President
Dona Le, Executive Director

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