Conscious Party: Power of the Purse

IMMIGRANT'S STORY: Journalist Maria Hinojosa will be the featured speaker for the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina’s Power of the Purse luncheon on May 22. Proceeds benefit CFWNC's The Women’s Fund, which supports the unmet needs of women and girls throughout the region. Photo courtesy of the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina

WHAT: A luncheon and talk by Maria Hinojosa to benefit The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina’s Women’s Fund

WHEN: Tuesday, May 22, noon-2 p.m.

WHERE: Expo Center at Crowne Plaza Resort Asheville, 1 Resort Drive

WHY: 2018 marks the 14th year that The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina’s Power of the Purse luncheon has been held.

“When it was initiated, it was meant to highlight the power of women’s philanthropy,” says Lindsay Hearn, CFWNC communications director. “A key feature of the event is that our Women for Women Giving Circle announces their grants at this event. And so, I would say the majority of the audience is female, but it certainly attracts a broad spectrum of people.”

The latest edition takes place Tuesday, May 22, in the Expo Center at Crowne Plaza Resort Asheville. The featured speaker will be journalist Maria Hinojosa, who’ll deliver a talk titled “My American Experience: Immigration, Disparity and Opportunity.”

“It certainly seemed like her talk addressing issues of migration, immigration and changing demographics was timely and important for getting a community conversation going,” Hearn says.

Proceeds from the event benefit an endowment CFWNC holds called the Women’s Fund. This year, $44,000 of spendable income from the Women’s Fund went toward the Giving Circle’s grant-making pool, which also receives funds from Giving Circle members’ annual fees. Always welcoming new members, the Giving Circle currently focuses on the facilitation of safe living environments for women and girls and is making numerous grants to support programs that address domestic violence, sexual violence and safety.

“Something very exciting happening this year is that they have been working for the past four years to make a large grant designed to bring together the agencies in partnership around that issue,” Hearn says. “They are announcing one grant this year, but it’s a big grant. It’s $450,000 to a partnership of organizations. It’s their largest grant and it’s the Community Foundation’s largest competitive grant.”

2018 is also CFWNC’s 40th anniversary, and the organization is celebrating throughout the year. Hearn notes that when it was founded in 1978, gas was 63 cents a gallon and Saturday Night Fever and Close Encounters of the Third Kind were playing at movie theaters. She adds that over that time, much like Asheville, CFWNC has changed a lot, growing from focusing on the greater Asheville area to, in 1982, expanding service to the 18-county region its serves today. In its first year, CFWNC had $310,000 in assets and awarded $10,600 of competitive grants. Today, its assets are $311 million, and it gives away about $18 million per year in partnership with its fundholders.

The Power of the Purse luncheon takes place Tuesday, May 22, noon-2 p.m. at the Expo Center at Crowne Plaza Resort Asheville, 1 Resort Drive. $75.


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About Edwin Arnaudin
Edwin Arnaudin is a staff writer for Mountain Xpress. He also reviews films for and is a member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) and North Carolina Film Critics Association (NCFCA). Follow me @EdwinArnaudin

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