The Divine Miss M Cares About New York's Parks And Stages

Bette Midler—a triple threat success as a singer, actress, and comedienne—has amassed quite a bit of money over the years, some $230 million by one estimate. Midler was born in Hawaii into one of the few Jewish families in the islands. She studied drama at University of Hawaii before going on to pursue a career in entertainment. 

Midler, a.k.a. "The Divine Miss M," has made a living on stage, which probably explains why she's been keen on preserving them for use by current and future generations of actors. An important part of this entertainer's philanthropy is revamping public school auditoriums in New York City through her Jeckyl Foundation. Midler started the Stages of Success Initiative a few years ago, and has thus far revamped four public school auditoriums. The initiative is currently focused on improvements at a performing arts school in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. A look at past tax records, meanwhile, reveals support of Landmark High School in Manhattan, Hunter's Point Community Middle School in Long Island, MS 223 Bronx Middle School (which received close to $425,000 one fiscal year), and Public School 105 in Far Rockaway.

Up until January 2016, the Jeckyl Foundation was open to ideas for a future auditorium renovation project at a Staten Island school. Grantseekers should keep apprised of this page for updates on new projects.

It's worth noting that Midler's philanthropy has largely focused on New York City, and in addition to her more accessible and transparent Jeckyl Foundation, Midler moves money through a family foundation, which gave away under $200,000 in a recent fiscal year.

While ensuring that New York City kids have modernized stages to perform on, Midler has also been involved with restoration of New York City's public spaces. In 1995, the entertainer created New York Restoration Project (NYRP), New York's "only citywide conservancy." NYRP has planted trees, renovated gardens, restored parks, and transformed open spaces throughout the city’s five boroughs. NYRP's MillionTreesNYC initiative has planted more than one million trees in the five boroughs. Another recent NYRP effort has been reviving a long neglected stretch of upper Manhattan waterfront.

Midler through her family foundation has recently funded NYRP, as well as similar nonprofits such as Central Park Conservancy, City Parks Foundation, Friends of Hudson River Park, and Westchester Land Trust. She's also recently funded Morris-Jumel Mansion, a historic site and museum overlooking the very same Manhattan waterfront NYRP has been committed to revamping.

Again, Midler's family foundation doesn't have much of a web presence, but her Jeckyl Foundation states that it provides "resources and financial support to cultural, educational, health, and environmental organizations working to improve communities in need around the world." For a more complete overview of Midler's recent philanthropy, read our profile of her linked below.

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