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Four Philanthropy Fellows to focus on education, community innovation work

(Saint Paul, MN – Jan. 9, 2014) – The Bush Foundation has selected the inaugural recipients of the MCF Philanthropy Fellowship, a program that prepares high-potential individuals from communities underrepresented in philanthropy for careers in that field. Fellows are employed by the Minnesota Council on Foundations and placed at the Bush Foundation for three years where they will work either with the Education or Community Innovation team. Over the course of the Fellowship, Fellows will receive significant professional development and networking opportunities. The Fellows start on January 21.

“The MCF Philanthropy Fellowship provides benefits all around,” said Bush Foundation Leadership and Development Director Stephanie Andrews. “The Fellows gain valuable work experience while infusing new energy and viewpoints into the Foundation’s work. At the same time, the field of philanthropy grows and changes to better serve people and communities.”

The 2014 MCF Philanthropy Fellows

• Carly Bad Heart Bull is an attorney in the child protection division of the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office. A registered member of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, she has also worked as a teacher in a Dakota language immersion program. Bad Heart Bull will join the Foundation’s Educational Achievement team.

• Venessa M. Fuentes is a philanthropy writer for Project for Pride in Living, a nonprofit that works with lower-income individuals and families to achieve greater self-sufficiency through housing, employment training, support services and education. Fuentes will join the Foundation’s Community Innovation team.

• Dameun Strange, a native of Washington, DC, is cofounder and artistic director of Hopewell Music Cooperative North, a community classical music education program. Strange will join the Foundation’s Community Innovation team.

• Coya H. White Hat-Artichoker is a founding member of the First Nations Two Spirit Collective, a coalition working to expand the understanding of tribal sovereignty within the larger LGBT community. She grew up on the Rosebud Reservation and is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. White Hat-Artichoker will be working as part of the Community Innovation team.

Learn more about the 2014 MCF Philanthropy Fellows at

The MCF Philanthropy Fellowship began as a Bush Foundation project called the “Resident Fellows Program” led by Alfonso Wenker, the program’s “Founding Fellow.” Seeing the potential for positive impact throughout the philanthropic community, the Bush Foundation partnered with the Minnesota Council on Foundations. MCF recently announced that it has hired Wenker to serve as its director of diversity, equity, and inclusion, starting January 21. In this role, he will help expand the MCF Philanthropy Fellowship to other foundations.

“For foundations to remain credible partners, their staff must reflect the shifting diversity of communities,” Wenker said. “It’s exciting that in my new role at MCF I’ll be charged with taking a program the Bush Foundation nurtured and working to make it flourish throughout the philanthropic community.”

Applications for the 2015 MCF Philanthropy Fellowship will open in Fall 2014.

About the Bush Foundation

The Bush Foundation invests in great ideas and the people who power them. The Foundation was established in 1953 by 3M executive Archibald Bush and his wife, Edyth, and today works in communities across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geographic area. Learn more at

About MCF

The Minnesota Council on Foundations works actively to expand and strengthen a vibrant regional community of diverse grantmakers who individually and collectively advance the common good. MCF members include private family and independent foundations, community and public foundations, and corporate foundations and giving programs. Its members award more than $900 million to nonprofits annually. Learn more at


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