Saturday, July 13, 2024

Icicle Fund brings together NCW nonprofits to inspire collaboration and impact


WENATCHEE - The Icicle Fund hosted a community celebration at Wenatchee Valley College on April 25 to amplify the work of nonprofits advancing the arts, environment, and history in North Central Washington. Established in 1998 by Harriet Bullitt, the Icicle Fund has invested over $45 million in more than 100 regional nonprofits.

"We are here to celebrate our good work, elevating arts, history and environment throughout Washington," said Icicle Fund Board President Mitsu Iwasaki in welcoming nearly 100 attendees. "Many of you are actually involved in different types of collaboration. Many of us want to do more."

The event showcased examples of nonprofit collaboration across NCW. Sarah Jo Lightner, Executive Director of Methow Arts Alliance, discussed ongoing conversations to explore synergies among arts organizations in the Methow Valley. Marlene Farrell, Executive Director of Sustainable NCW, shared how partnerships enable their work, from an online waste disposal guide to a successful electronics recycling drive. Matt Cade, Georgia Bakke-Tull, and Christie Voos of the Upper Valley Historical Society described their multiyear effort with the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation to create an exhibit honoring the Wenatchi people. 

"The most thrilling part to us is the connection that the exhibit shines a spotlight on information, history information that previously, for the most part, was unknown to residents in the area and all the visitors to our area," said Cade.

Following the presentations, attendees broke into small groups to connect and brainstorm around shared dreams, projects, and challenges. The Icicle Fund plans to develop the community celebration concept further with input from participants.

"Today is some shared learning for all of us and for inspiration," said Christine Morgan, Icicle Fund Executive Director. "Collaboration happens in the arts, it happens in the area of history, it happens in conservation and environment. It happens all over North Central Washington."

Through its annual grant program, the Icicle Fund awarded unrestricted funding to 25 NCW nonprofits this year. It also partners with the Community Foundation of NCW on capacity building efforts like the Nonprofit Practices Institute and Strategic Consulting Grants. All net profits from the Icicle Fund's Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort support the organization's regional giving.

"Icicle Fund continues to explore ways to serve NCW and connect people to place through engagement with the arts, history, and environment of the region," said Morgan.

Terry Ward is the CEO of Ward Media and the publisher of the NCW News, Cashmere Valley Record, Lake Chelan Mirror, The Leavenworth Echo, Quad City Herald, and the Wenatchee Business Journal. He can be reached at


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