Grantees In The News

LLF Fellow at the Institute Of Fine Arts Returns Home To Big Job

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Malawi’s Lone Conservation Officer Seeks to Save His Country’s Heritage

Al Jazeera America, May 16, 2014

“…When [Moses Mkumpha] accepted the post of conservation officer in 2010, he discovered it was also in grave danger. For almost 20 years, the country had had no trained conservator overseeing preservation, conservation and restoration…“I didn’t know where to start,” he says….Mkumpha is now in the final stretch of a nine-month program put together by the Conservation Center of New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts and funded by the Leon Levy Foundation. Each year since 2009, the foundation has invited one conservator from a country that, as  Conservation Center Chairman Michele Marincola explains, “has an emerging sense of cultural patrimony but not the infrastructure to support education at a high level.”

 

The Nonprofit’s Board Raised the Money in Honor of CEO Gregory Long’s 25 Years as Head of the Institution

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New York Botanical Garden gets $28M windfall

Crains, NY,  June 5, 2014

“To commemorate Gregory Long’s 25 years as head of the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, the nonprofit’s board set out to raise $25 million fund in his honor and surpassed the goal by $3 million. The $28 million gift will be announced at a fundraiser for the Bronx institution on Thursday evening.

“It is so generous,” said Mr. Long, 67, who is the Garden’s chief executive officer. “It’s a little embarrassing actually but it’s good for the garden and that’s all I care about it.”

The fund was launched last September with a $5 million challenge by LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust. The Leon Levy Foundation gave $5.6 million. Roughly a dozen individual donations brought the fund to its total of $28 million, making it the second largest gift the Garden has ever received. A decade ago it received a $100 million bequeath.

“I know of very few institutions where the Board would come forward to honor the CEO in this way—we are all delighted to do this,” Shelby White, a vice chairman of the board and Trustee of the Leon Levy Foundation, said in a statement…”

 

LLNPP Achieves Trip Advisor Excellence Award

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LLNPP Staff Celebrates Award

Bahamas National Parks Awarded Certificates of Excellence

The Bahamas Weekly
, Jun 2, 2014

“Eleuthera & Grand Bahama, Bahamas – The Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve, Lucayan National Park and Peterson Cay National Park were all awarded TripAdvisor Excellence awards this month.  These national treasures are part of the 27 National Park & Protected Area system managed and cared for by the Bahamas National Trust (BNT). ‘The Levy Preserve staff are elated to receive TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence award for 2014!’ said Mark Daniels, Levy Preserve Manager. The Preserve is a unique space that allows guests to enjoy the beauty of our native plants in the setting of our diverse Bahamian forest. We are extremely happy with the positive feedback from our guests, and will continue to maintain the standard that The Preserve represents. I encourage all past guests to plan a return visit to experience our newly added Freshwater Wetland, Lath House and Edible History Garden!’…”

The Leon Levy Neuroscience Fellowship Program Jump-Starts the Careers of Promising Young Researchers

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Building a Better Neuroscientist

News & Views, March/April 2014

“As a philanthropist, the late Leon Levy lavished funds on everything from New York City cultural institutions to Israeli archaeological digs, but neuroscience research held a special claim on his benevolence.  The legendary financier had majored in psychology, and he credited his success as an investor largely to his insights into human behavior…”

 

Strategic Siting Of Pop-Up Wetlands Saves Birds

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Paying Farmers to Welcome Birds

The New York Times, April 15, 2014

“The Central Valley was once one of North America’s most productive wildlife habitats, a 450-mile-long expanse marbled with meandering streams and lush wetlands that provided an ideal stop for migratory shorebirds…about 95 percent are gone, and the number of migratory birds has declined drastically. But now an unusual alliance of conservationists, bird watchers and farmers have joined in an innovative plan to restore essential habitat for the migrating birds.

The program, called BirdReturns, starts with data from eBird, the pioneering citizen science project that asks birders to record sightings on a smartphone app and send the information to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in upstate New York….”

 

The Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve Celebrates Its Phase Two Opening

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The Preserve Welcomes the Prime Minister of the Bahamas to Phase Two Opening Celebration

Tribune 242, April 15, 2014

The Leon Levy Native Plant Preserve was honored to have the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie, Prime Minister of The Bahamas at the Phase Two Opening Ceremony on Friday, April 11, 2014. This second phase of the Preserve was designed by world-renowned landscape architect Raymond Jungles and subtropical plant expert, Dr. Ethan Freid. The second phase construction includes a lath house, freshwater wetland, edible history garden, and weather station.

 

ISAW Opens New Exhibit: ‘Masters of Fire’ a Trove of Copper Age Artifacts From Israel

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Where Death Was a Friend, and Gods Were Ordinary Folk

The New York Times, Feb. 21, 2014

“I can imagine worse fates for my bones than being housed for eternity — or at least 6,000 years or so — in one of the astonishing ossuaries now on display at New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World in a modest but weighty new exhibition, “Masters of Fire: Copper Age Art From Israel.” If facial expressions have any enduring meanings across cultures and time (and it often seems that they do), the figures who adorn these ancient clay burial vaults would provide congenial company.”

 

National Museum of Cambodia Collaborates with the Center for Khmer Studies to Promote Research and Scholarly Exchange

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Ancient culture goes online as National Museum digitises

The Phnom Penh Post, Jan. 29, 2014

“After nine years of locating works, cross-checking records, photographing and finally cataloguing, the National Museum has unveiled its online database, which features more than 16,000 entries ranging from ancient statues to paintings and manuscripts. Launched on January 3, the database is the only fine arts system of its kind in Cambodia, with its web presence enabling museum curators to locate and document works, as well as providing the public with access. Funded by the Leon Levy Foundation, the National Museum of Cambodia collaborated with the Center for Khmer Studies (CKS), an international, non-governmental organisation that supports and promotes research and scholarly exchange with Cambodia.”  Read more.

The Founding Documents of the NY Philharmonic – the Oldest Symphony Orchestra in the U.S. – Now Available Online

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Philharmonic Early History Goes Digital

The New York Times, Feb. 6, 2014

“Just a year after the members of the brand-new New York Philharmonic adopted their first constitution in 1842 — players were to be paid $25 a season for three concerts, to rehearse every other Saturday and to be fined $5 for missed concerts — they passed some new bylaws. ‘All indecorum of the members is strictly forbidden at all the Society’s meetings,’ one rule read, banning ‘smoking, the wearing of hats or caps, violent language, &c. &c.’

Those founding documents of the Philharmonic — the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States — are now available online, the orchestra announced on Wednesday, thanks to a new $2.4 million grant from the Leon Levy Foundation. It will allow the orchestra to continue to digitize the records in its copious archives going all the way back to its inaugural 1842-43 season….”

BPL Celebrates Anniversary of New Tech Center

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`Information Commons’ offers 25 desktops, space for 70 laptops

Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Jan. 16, 2014

This month, the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) celebrated the one-year anniversary of the opening of its multifunctional, innovative technology center, the Shelby White and Leon Levy Information Commons.

Located in BPL’s Central Library at Grand Army Plaza, the Information Commons offers a 5,500-square-foot space boasting seating and outlets for 70 laptop users, 25 public desktop computers (including Macs and PCs), meeting rooms, educational training programs and a recording studio outfitted with a computer editing station and DSLR camera.

Designed with the intention of serving the community at large and accommodating a wide range of demands, the Information Commons provides specialized resources to support students, researchers, professionals, entrepreneurs and job-seekers.