About the Foundation

The Perpich Foundation was established to support and improve Minnesota’s K-12 education in and through the arts. Since its inception, more than 10,000 teachers, students and artists, college faculty, and parents from all across Minnesota have benefited from its initiatives and programs. This is accomplished primarily through financial and administrative support of the unique state agency known as Perpich Center for Arts Education, which includes a Professional Development and Research Center, an Arts High School and a Media Center/Library. Robert Jacobs currently serves as President of the all-volunteer Board of Directors.


  • In the past six years, the Foundation has raised more than $520,000 from contributions, annual campaigns, income from services rendered, or special events.  
  • College scholarships or cash prizes have been provided, or administered using funds from other sources, for Arts High School students in several art areas who exemplify service and have achieved artistic and academic excellence.
  • Financial assistance for arts education has been granted to more than 275 students from school districts throughout Minnesota in the form of tuition, room & board, supplies, transportation and other expenses related to their enrollment in the Arts High School.
  • The Foundation supports ongoing advocacy efforts to help legislators and other decision-makers understand the critical role the Perpich Center plays in Minnesota’s educational, economic, cultural and social vitality.
  • The Foundation provides assistance to rural families experiencing economic hardship who may be unable to pay room, board and other fees associated with students attending the Arts High School.
  • The Foundation finances an emergency fund for the Arts High School to support students whose families experience crisis issues.
  • The Foundation provides funding to needy students for college testing services (ACT & SAT).
  • The Foundation has provided more than $200,000 for art supplies, field trips, visiting artists, academic support, counseling services, college placement services and other programs directly related to excellence in education.
  • The Foundation established a Professional Development Fund for faculty and staff of the Perpich Center for Arts Education and provided more than $40,000 in support from 2007- 2010.
  • The Foundation provides scholarships to support the Minnesota Department of Education’s Scholars of Distinction Program. In the last five years, more than 30 students from public and private schools throughout Minnesota were awarded scholarships for achievements in theater arts.
  • The Foundation has provided scholarships for Arts High School students enrolled in summer educational programs at colleges, universities or art conservatories.
  • Students needing support in developing their artist portfolio for college admissions requirements have received funds from the Foundation.
  • The Foundation has supported student-led endeavors for humanitarian relief. For example, for two years the Foundation provided matching funds for students and grants for faculty traveling to Nicaragua to work as volunteers with young people interested in art. A program initiated by students to assist children in a Minneapolis transitional housing program also received funding from the Foundation.
  • The Foundation provided financial assistance to the Arts High School Theater program so students and faculty could compete in a 2010 national competition for excellence in the summer of 2010.
  • The Foundation established the Joseph Sodd III Scholarship Memorial Fund as an endowment fund in 2008, from which scholarships for Arts High alumni studying dance in college will be awarded beginning in November 2011.
  • The Foundation recruits parent and community volunteers to support the activities and initiatives of the Perpich Center, including student performances, openings and readings that occur regularly at the Arts High School, and coordinates the services performed.
  • The Foundation actively supports annual public relations and recruitment efforts including the Perpich booth at the Minnesota State Fair and Perpich Day at the Capitol. The board actively participates in Arts High family activities, such as Student Orientation, Parent Open House, and major social activities for students.
  • The Foundation coordinated and supported the hospitality and home-stay activities connected with an Arts High student and faculty exchange program with a high school in China in the spring of 2011.
  • Major outreach and fund-raising events and annual campaigns are the responsibility of and/or supported by the foundation and include a Big Event, participation in Give to the Max Day, membership drives, and milestone anniversary celebrations.