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Friday, 22 December 2006

Streisand, Sony give $20,000 to Columbus youth program


Barbra Streisand has left behind more than memories in the wake of her October concert at Value City Arena.Along with Sony, her record label, the singer recently donated $20,000 to the Short Stop program of Directions for Youth & Families in Columbus.The program seeks to create opportunities for growth and development among young people ages 7 to 19."It was truly a holiday present," said Steve Votaw, head of Directions for Youth, whose annual budget totaled $7.2 million in 2005.

Columbus marked the second stop on Streisand's fall concert tour, her first in 12 years.As a way of giving something back to the 14 U.S. cities she visited, Streisand joined Sony in making a donation to a needy school or organization providing arts education in each one."We asked for some recommendations from the Columbus Foundation and went on and did our own research, then made a decision with the Streisand family," said Rupa Balasubramanian, a program associate with the Streisand Foundation.Since the singer's foundation was created in 1986, it has awarded nearly $15 million in grants to various national organizations.Its urban funding has historically focused on programs in the Los Angeles area.

Her half of the donation will support programming, Votaw said, and the Sony half will cover "audiovisual equipment used in performances we do with our kids."Votaw, who struggled to believe the initial message from the Streisand Foundation informing him of the grant, cited "a lot of excitement at the office.""It was really neat."

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