Some initiatives are enormously important to the entire community; others, life changing to a few. Each has its place in our evolving community and the El Paso Community Foundation strives to meet needs through its philanthropic services as convener, grant maker and leadership organization. Read more about our key projects below.
Run Internacional: The U.S. - Mexico 10K
The El Paso Community Foundation partnered with the offices of U.S.
Representative Beto O’Rourke to present the first Run Internacional in
2015. It was a throwback to the El Paso Juarez International Classic,
which ended in 2001.
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The race, which was canceled due to the COVID pandemic in 2020 and 2021, returns on December 10, 2022. It is a fast, flat 10K — half in
Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, and half in El Paso, Texas in the USA.
The race features about 1,000 runners, and brings positive
attention to our border and our sister cities.
Plaza Classic Film Festival
Billed as the “World’s Largest Classic Film Festival,” the
Plaza Classic Film Festival was
created to bring in people of all ages to enjoy the award-winning Plaza
Theatre, celebrate movie history, and enjoy a little community. For
eleven days each July, the Plaza Classic Film Festival thrills tens of
thousands of visitors with great movies, special guests, concerts, art
exhibitions, film talks, discussions, parties and more.
The Plaza Classic Film Festival is produced by the El Paso Community
Foundation, and attracts more than 40,000 people each year. The 2023 edition will be our 16th annual. Dates are July 20-30.
The Classroom Fund
The Classroom Fund supports innovation, program enhancement, and
supplies for the classroom. The fund provides requested materials and
delivers them directly to teachers in El Paso County, Texas and
Cruces, New Mexico — private or public schools — based on the need and
the idea. The purpose of the fund is to directly support the efforts of
teachers, who — on a limited salary — often buy basic supplies and
“extras” for their classrooms at their own cost.
The Classroom Fund Impact grants and projects have had a lasting effect
on individual schools, incorporating much needed arts and physical
education into everyday curricula. The Classroom Fund has been a project
of the El Paso Community Foundation since 2011, and is funded in
partnership with Price’s Give ’em Five Fund, KVIA ABC7, and the El Paso
Roderick Artspace Lofts
The Roderick Artspace Lofts offer affordable housing to artists, as well
as studio and gallery space to create the hub needed for a thriving art
scene in downtown El Paso.
The lofts, opened in 2017, consist of 51 affordable apartments for
artists, along with commercial space for arts-oriented businesses. The
Roderick Artspace Lofts were named in honor of the Roderick Family for
their multi-generational giving to the El Paso Community Foundation.
Chris Cummings and Katherine Brennand made the project possible by
providing important leadership and by donating the land where the lofts
Plaza Theatre Performing Arts Centre
The Plaza Theatre Performing Arts Centre was restored in 2006 through a
partnership of the El Paso Community Foundation and the City of El Paso.
In 2013, it was rated #31 in Pollstar’s list of the Top 100
Performing Arts Venues worldwide! It won a national Preservation Award
from the U.S. Department of Interior.
The Plaza Theatre was a $24.2 million gift to the people of El Paso from
the El Paso Community Foundation, and annually hosts concerts, Broadway
shows, the El Paso Symphony Orchestra, and the Plaza Classic Film
Festival, the “World’s Largest Classic Film
The Spirit of Giving Trees
In 1989, the El Paso Community Foundation began providing an opportunity
for people to give directly to individuals and nonprofit organizations.
It was a response to the ’80s “Me” generation, and the crass
commercialism of the times. More than 63,000 gifts have been donated
anonymously since its inception.
The Spirit of Giving Trees have been a fixture at Cielo Vista and
Sunland Park Malls. Take a tag
from a tree, or choose one online, and make someone’s holiday season a
little better. There is also a virtual tree at
spiritofgiving.epcf.org and, during the pandemic, we’ve joined with more than two dozen community partners, who have their own virtual trees for employees, friends and family to donate gifts.
The El Paso Community Foundation is proud to present this project in
conjunction with Cielo Vista Mall, Sunland Park Mall, iHeart Media and KTSM.
Border Art Residency
The Border Art Residency enables artists to pursue their craft without
the worry of immediate sales or an outside job to pay for housing
expenses. Artists selected for the residency are able to achieve a
greater degree of personal growth by concentrating on individual goals.
A new museum is being created to spark imaginations, curiosity,
creativity and critical thinking through immersive, experiential
learning environments. Called La Nube, the new children’s museum and science center will provide an outward
facing view of the world to people of all ages through hands-on,
interactive exhibits, programs and special events.
There is palpable excitement and support for this project, from both the
public and private sectors. La Nube will be a world-class
destination for both residents and tourists. It will be located in the heart of El Paso’s Downtown Arts
District, which welcomes 1.5 million visitors a year and is home to the El Paso Museum of
Art, the El Paso Museum of History, the El Paso Holocaust Museum, the Roderick Artspace
Lofts, the Plaza Theatre, the Abraham Chavez Theatre, Southwest
University Park, the convention center, public art, festivals, green
spaces, and more.
El Paso Community Foundation Jewel Box Series at the Philanthropy Theatre
The Jewel Box Series was created in partnership with El Paso Live to provide a first-class space for local performing arts groups. That space is the beautiful, intimate, jewel box called the Philanthropy Theatre in the Plaza Theatre Performing Arts Centre. Rent is waived for one day of rehearsal and one day of performance, liability insurance is covered, and the Foundation helps with promotion and a playbill. More than 40 productions have been staged in the series, including shows by the late Academy Award-winning screenwriter Mark Medoff, theater legend Hector Serrano, the Border Theatre, writer Camilla Carr, and singers Emily Davis and Jamielynn Amato. Dormant since the 2020 COVID lockdown, the Jewel Box returns for its seventh season with performances on the second Sunday of each month from November 2022 to May 2023.