Newsweek reported on June 30, 2021, Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has donated more than $2.7 billion to hundreds of charities and organizations. The exact amount was $2,739,000,000.00 in gifts awarded to 286 organizations in “categories and communities that have been historically underfunded and overlooked.”

“These are people who have spent years successfully advancing humanitarian aims, often without knowing whether there will be any money in their bank accounts in two months,” Scott wrote. “What do we think they might do with more cash on hand than they expected? Buy needed supplies. Find new creative ways to help. Hire a few extra team members they know they can pay for the next five years. Buy chairs for them. Stop having to work every weekend. Get some sleep.”

This is the third set of donations in one year that Ms. Scott has provided after having pledged approximately $6 billion to coronavirus relief organizations, racial equity groups, historically Black colleges and others in 2020. This was one of the largest ever annual distributions by a private individual to working charities.

Scott chose the 286 organizations “to enable their work, and as a signal of trust and encouragement, to them and to others,” Scott said.

Scott is an American novelist and philanthropist now married to high school chemistry teacher Dan Jewett. In 2006, she won the American Book Award for her 2005 debut novel, The Testing of Luther Albright and her second novel Traps, was published in 2013. Scott is the founder and director of Bystander Revolution and was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020.  As of May 2011, her net worth was estimated at $57 billion, making her the third-wealthiest woman in the world, and the 21st-wealthiest individual overall. Scott is a signatory to the Giving Pledge, a commitment to give at least half of her wealth to charity.

Lines Ballet  performing a world premiere with Zakir Hussain Urban Bush Women - Photo by Timothy Norris DTH-Company-Artists-Ingrid-Silva-and-Dylan-Santos.-Photo-by-François-Rousseau_preview Ballet Hispánico - Linea Recta Dance Collage Collective
Ilaria Guerra | Alonzo King LINES Ballet PHOTO CREDIT: © Chris Hardy

The list of organizations that were recipients of Scott’s latest donation is long and can be accessed HERE.  The dance organizations that received funding include Alonzo King LINES Ballet (San Francisco, CA), Alvin Ailey American Dance Company (New York City), Ballet Hispánico (New York City), Collage Dance Collective (Memphis, TN), Dance Theater of Harlem (New York City), The International Association of Blacks in Dance (Silver Spring, MD); and Urban Bush Women (Brooklyn, NY).

A few of the other California based organizations receiving funding include Asian Pacific Fund (Los Angeles, CA.); Cal Poly Pomona; California State University Channel Islands; California State University, Fullerton; California State University, Northridge; Center for Asian American Media (San Francisco, CA.); College of the Desert (Palm Desert, CA); East Bay Fund for Artists (Oakland, CA); Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA); L.A. Arts Endowment Fund (Los Angeles); Long Beach City College; Pasadena City College; San Francisco Community Health Center; Santa Barbara City College; United States Artists (Office in San Francisco, CA); University of California, Merced; West Hills College Lemoore (Lemoore, CA); West/Southwest Industrial Areas Foundation (includes CA); Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco, CA); and YR Media (Oakland, CA.).

Congratulations to all the recipients.

Written by Jeff Slayton for LA Dance Chronicle.

Featured image:  Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in Aszure Barton’s Busk – Photo by Paul Kolnik