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Over the past five years, the Anthony Quinn Foundation has helped dozens of high school students across the country take advantage of art programs they wouldn't be able to experience without a scholarship. Katherine Quinn, who established the foundation after her husband's death in 2001, talks about why maintaining art programs is crucial to so many teenagers' development, and explains why she has opened up her husband's vast - and varied - art works to hundreds of Rhode Island high school students for hands-on tours.
Click here for additional excerpts of Jim Hummel's interview with Katherine Quinn.
Click here for more information about the Anthony Quinn Foundation.
Willie Grear has performed many times – before many different audiences – playing both trumpet and piano, instruments he picked up at an early age.
But this performance, on a beautiful summer evening under a sprawling tent in Bristol, took on special meaning for him and for those who got to hear him play.
Willie: ``I absolutely would not have been able to do it if it were not for the foundation.’’
The foundation is the Anthony Quinn Foundation, established by Quinn’s wife Katherine after the legendary actor died in 2001. The `it’ Willie alluded to was a three-week summer Jazz Improv Workshop program in New York City, where he studied with jazz masters during the day, performed at public concerts at night, and got the opportunity to record in a multi-million dollar studio.
Willie: ``And I ended up with beautiful recordings that I actually used for my college applications for art supplements. So with the help of the foundation I was able to go to this workshop, which got me these amazing recordings, which I was then able to use to get into college.’’
Willie graduated from South Kingstown High School last spring and was accepted to Princeton University, where he plans to study international affairs and jazz. The foundation last year provided scholarships for Willie and more than a dozen others who wanted to study more about Visual Arts & Design, Dance, Theatre, Singing, Instrumental, Media Arts, or Literary Arts.
The foundation has awarded more than 50 scholarships since 2011. The first year, all but one of the recipients was a Rhode Islander; now they come from as far as Seattle.
This was the first year the foundation had two of its recipients – Willie and Joe Broom of McClean, Virginia - perform at an annual summer fundraiser at Katherine Quinn’s home in Bristol, which also houses a lifetime of Anthony’s Quinn’s art.
Willie: ``The Quinn Foundations is definitely developing a culture where the students are encouraged to explore something creative on top of what they’re doing academically.’’
Katherine: ``I think art helps everybody find their center, find who they really are.’’
We first met Katherine Quinn last spring, when she hosted a series of field trips for area high school students who came to see - and experience - firsthand Anthony Quinn’s art, spread across several buildings and eight acres of land on Poppasquash Point - where the couple lived before Quinn died at the age of 86.
During the month of May she hosted five separate high school groups - from Portsmouth to Providence - telling her late husband’s story, and letting them see up close his varied works of art.