The Middle School of the Arts Foundation, Inc. was formed in 1999 by parents and concerned members of the community to raise the estimated $1.8 million needed to build an auditorium for the school’s new campus, an essential performance space for an arts school. (A typical middle school campus includes a gymnasium or an auditorium, but not both.)
In 2002 Dora Bak contributed $1.5million to the school’s foundation in honor of her late husband, Richard Bak. The school was renamed Bak Middle School of the Arts in honor of their generous legacy to the children of Palm Beach County. Since that time, the Foundation has been very active in raising funds for the school and its programs.
In 2004, the voters of PBC approved a county-wide, half-cent sales tax Referendum to raise funds to complete county-wide school construction projects which included the completion of what was to be the new Middle School of the Arts campus. The completion of Bak’s auditorium cost upwards of $5.8 million.
In 2005 the Foundation contributed more than $340,000 to the school and its activities, including a $100,000 contribution to the School District, which the School District matched, to pay for an enlarged art gallery adjacent to the school’s auditorium which has since been named the William I. Koch Gallery.
Today, Dora Bak’s endowment gift generates over $90,000 in interest income annually. Typically the MSOA Foundation grants approximately $150,000 annually to provide much needed instruments, supplies, equipment and artists-in-residence funding. However, unmet needs remain. In general, the foundation receives over $250,000 in requests each year for additional Artist in Residence funding, musical instruments, specialized equipment, dance and theatre costumes, consumable art supplies and much more.
In 2010 Bak’s magnet budget was cut (due to the economy) by 10% for the 2010-2011 school year significantly impacting its Artist in Residence Program. Artists in Residence provide vital small group and individual arts instruction in addition to reducing student-to-teacher ratios and offering additional course offerings, a vital component of Bak’s tremendous success. In response the MSOA Foundation issued
a $100,000 Save the Arts challenge. Bak parents generously donated more than $60,000 towards the $100,000 goal and local philanthropist and Oxbow business owner William I. Koch pledged the remaining approximately $40,000 needed to reach the Foundation’s goal.
The Foundation and the individual departments fundraise each year to provide the materials necessary to support the education of our artist-scholars. To donate click here or for more information on Foundation events click here.
About The Foundation
Q: What is the difference between a PTO, Adopt A Class and the MSOA Foundation?
A: PTO is a parent-teacher organization that funds teacher appreciation (staff luncheons, treats, etc.) and individual grant requests. Adopt A Class gives specific teachers unrestricted funds to purchase classroom items. These funds only serve one teacher’s class and do not fund the artist in residence program or department needs.
The Foundation typically funds approximately $150,000 annually for larger school-wide requests, department needs and the artist in residence program. Typically the Foundation funds approximately $90,000 in artist in residence needs and approximately $60,000 in both arts and academic classroom supplies from mobile laptop labs to sophisticated lighting for our state of the art theatre, to musical instruments, dance costumes, textbooks, underwriting under privileged student’s class fees, and much more.
Q: Is the MSOA Foundation a not for profit?
A: Yes. The MSOA Foundation is a 501(c)3 non profit. Our tax ID Number is 31-166 0977. We are a separate legal entity from Bak MSOA, the PTO and Adopt A Class, etc.
Q: Does the MSOA Foundation qualify for my employer’s matching grant program?
A: Please inquire with your employer. Many companies do match employee donations to the Foundation but every program is different. Some companies have restrictions on donations to elementary or middle schools. If you provide contact information or program forms we are happy to coordinate with your program staff.
Q: What does the MSOA Foundation do?
A: The Foundation is a group of parents and community members dedicated to developing permanent resources to support excellence in both arts and academics at Bak by fundraising, grant writing, providing volunteer support, and raising awareness. Our Mission. Our events.
Q: Who is on the Foundation Board?
A: Foundation Directors are voted on each year at the annual meeting by the general membership and are Bak parents, arts patrons and concerned community members.
Q: Can I serve on the Board?
A: Directors are recruited each spring, nominated by the nominating committee and voted on at the annual meeting each August. If interested in serving on the board you must submit your resume electronically by the due date. Board members are required to commit to: attending monthly meetings, contributing $1,000 in board dues
annually, serving on committees, attending and promoting Foundation events and fundraisers, assisting in raising funds for Bak MSOA. Our goal is to have a very diverse board representative of our school and community.