Vignette: Music, Accessibility, and a Moment at JFN 2017

A note from Dara Weinerman Steinberg, Executive Director of the Lippman Kanfer Family Foundation:


I wanted to share with you a brief story about an unexpected way the 2017 JFN Conference in Atlanta inspired us. There was a wonderful violinist there, Niv Ashkenazi. Besides his extraordinary musical ability, the board was struck by his comments during the interview. He was asked something along the lines of — what can funders do to support artists who have disabilities — and he responded build ramps, make spaces accessible. After the conference the board members from shared the story with others in the family foundation. It reminded them of a story we often tell about our founder, Grandpa Jerry Lippman. Jerry believed that if there was a simple solution to something; you should do it. Being reactive to things outside our core mission is not usually how the foundation operates; but the board was moved by Niv’s comments and Jerry’s spirit. I reached out to Niv for advice and it sent me on an adventure into learning about accessibility along with some wonderful conversation with an expert at the Kennedy Center and her Ohio based colleague. It ultimately resulted in a one-time fund of $10,000 at VSA Ohio for small grants to assist artists with disabilities with accessibility to venues and conferences. I wanted to share this story with you and the JFN team, because your work catalyzed this grant. Kol Hakavod!

You can watch that performance and interview below: