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Asante Receives $83,000 Grant from Glick Philanthropies’ Next Generation Committee

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Gene & Marilyn Glick’s legacy of building community and creating opportunity continues to live on and expand to future generations. With the encouragement and support of the current board, Gene & Marilyn’s grandchildren and eldest great-grandchild formed the ‘Next Generation’ committee guided by the following mission statement.

We believe in advocating for access and opportunities for all to grow, lead, and thrive in Central Indiana. We commit our support to strategies that uplift mental health and wellness, promote early childhood education, and provide affordable housing.

Through the Glick Fund at the Central Indiana Community Foundation, this committee of Glick family members from Central Indiana and across the country partnered to identify organizations working to make a difference across these focus areas. Asante Art Institute of Indianapolis, founded by Deborah Asante and formerly known as Asante Children’s Theatre, elevated as one of those organizations.

For more than 30 years, Asante has served the community through the Asante Children’s Theatre and other transformational programming. The organization’s vision is to become the premier African American arts and cultural organization, replicating its model of transformation and citizenship development and dedicated to the holistic growth of youth and families through artistic experiences.

While healing has always been an element of the organization’s mission, the past several years have demanded that element become the priority.

“Our gravest concern is that children are living with the effects of intergenerational trauma that is the direct result of overt systemic racism. Children and families have been damaged. They need a chance for real talk about gun violence in their neighborhoods, life at home, COVID-related challenges, death in the family, and the many other struggles they face daily. Healing must be a priority. Asante believes in family engagement. We will work with the child and the parent or caregiver. We know you can’t successfully equip a child with the tools to talk about and cope with their struggles when home or school may be counterproductive settings. Asante creates an environment where participants are seen and taught how to claim the space they are due. It allows children to be without unrealistic expectations being thrust upon them,” said Keesha Dixon, executive director of Asante.

With the support of an $83,000 grant directed by Glick Philanthropies’ Next Generation committee, Asante will be able to do more of this much needed work. One of Asante’s tools for creating a healing environment is through its Prep4Life program. This program – for young people ages 6 through 12 – introduces the fundamentals of performance art through acting, singing, dancing, and storytelling. Performance art is important (many Prep4Life alumni have gone on to careers in performing arts), but perhaps most important is the village that forms around the participants.

“Prep4Life uses the power of storytelling to give Black children their voice. They experience what it feels like to be seen and recognized as part of a community,” said Dixon.

Asante plans to expand the Prep4Life program so more future “Prepsters” can participate and improve their self-esteem by building cultural confidence.

“We are privileged to have the opportunity to carry on Gene & Marilyn Glick’s legacy of building community and creating opportunity,” said Jackie Barrett, the eldest granddaughter of Gene & Marilyn Glick and a member of the Next Generation committee. “Our shared values of equity, compassion, and integrity led us to this partnership with Asante and we’re grateful for their innovation to prioritize healing for children in the community.”

To learn more about Asante and support their important work, visit In addition to the grant to Asante, the Next Generation committee also directed grants to the following organizations.

  • Gennesaret Free Clinics for staff renewal: Gennesaret Free Clinics provides quality, accessible, and compassionate patient-centered healthcare for persons experiencing homelessness or lacking established healthcare. Seeking to serve, a dedicated team of healthcare professionals, staff, and volunteers treat all persons with dignity and respect. To learn more, visit
  • Indiana Youth Group for basic needs programming: IYG serves young people ages 12-24 who self-identify as LGBTQ+, as well as their ally peers. They strive to provide safer spaces to build self-confidence, explore individualism, and develop friendships within the LGBTQ+ community. To learn more, visit

About Glick Philanthropies

Glick Philanthropies is an Indianapolis-based family of charitable initiatives dedicated to building community and creating opportunity that empowers every person to reach their full potential. Glick Philanthropies includes Glick Family Foundation, Glick Housing Foundation, the Glick Fund at Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF), and the Glick Fund at Jewish Federation of Greater Indianapolis (JFGI). Since 1982, we have awarded $320 million to charitable causes in Central Indiana and communities where Gene B. Glick Company operates.