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Foundation Staff

Elizabeth Bennett

Program Manager

Elizabeth Bennett is grantmaker, fundraiser, journalist, and culture vulture. Her family began vacationing in Vineyard Haven in 1976; she remembers eating quahaug chowder ice cream at Mad Martha’s and browsing the shelves of Bunch of Grapes Bookstore during her childhood. Her favorite Island hike is the red trail at Cedar Tree.

Elizabeth is thrilled to be part of the foundation staff, serving the Island’s students and the nonprofit sector, addressing the most critical local challenges, and celebrating the unique Vineyard landscape and people who activate it. She came to the community foundation after three decades of writing for the Vineyard Gazette. She most recently worked as the newspaper’s community editor.

As a grantmaker, she led Staten Island Arts, the arts council for the fifth borough of New York City, and significantly increased funding for the borough’s individual artists and nonprofits. She created multi-sector community engagement initiatives focusing on racial diversity, ability and access, and small business development. She is proud to have been part of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs team that managed the $35 million competitive application process distributing public funds to arts groups in all five boroughs.

Her familiarity with varying approaches to grantmaking and fundraising stem from her work as a grant writer for Freshkills Park Alliance, Park Avenue Armory, SDC Foundation and 92NY, among others. She has served as an application review panelist awarding support to individual artists, arts organizations and regional economic development initiatives in processes at the New York State Council on the Arts, NJ State Council on the Arts, Dance/NYC, Bush Foundation (MN), California Arts Council, and Tofte Lake Center (MN).

She began her professional nonprofit arts career in the rehearsal hall, working as a theatrical dramaturg for some of the country’s leading nonprofit theaters. Among the new works she is proud to have developed are the Broadway musicals Spring Awakening and Thoroughly Modern Millie.

Elizabeth holds an MFA from the Yale School of Drama, where she worked as a chef at the Yale Summer Cabaret and volunteered as a class fundraising agent for the school.