WHAT WE DO . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . WHO WE ARE . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . WHY WE EXIST

The Backhus Foundation is a tax-exempt, non-profit foundation which makes monetary grants to the Arts, Education, History, and Preservation.   It was founded to combine our family's interest in the Arts with our desire to preserve the past.

We are a registered IRS 501(c)(3) organization, making our first Grant Award in 1998.  We enthusiastically continue funding projects annually, having made at least one grant each year since 1998.   Click the link to learn more about our fine grant recipients.

In pursuing our Preservation goal, we opened our "Museum of Collections" in Northern California.  This museum was a place where preservation-minded people could display their unique family histories, (whether family photos, memorabilia, unique collections, toys, artifacts, or other treasures).  The museum had an art gallery, library, historic research center,an area for relaxation and contemplation, and even a working model train layout.

Our exhibits honored creative activities, such as art, poetry, music, and history conveying a sense of reverence for the histories its collections and artifacts represented.  The museum closed in July 2005 as we concentrated our efforts on selecting and supporting worthy Grant recipients.

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This endeavor really began with my parents, Dr. Louis Charles & Mrs. Milda Barvicks Backhus who resided in the historic state of Connecticut.  They lived in an era when achieving the "American Dream" was a widespread goal.  Milda's favorite phrase was, "Hitch your wagon to a star."  

Both parents were able to realize many of their dreams, becoming medical professionals, and enjoying long careers.

They honored these achievements by tenaciously saving valued things of the past which represented various stages of their career efforts.  Treasures such as diplomas, yearbooks, uniforms, text books, family heirlooms, paintings, prints and old phonograph records were carefully preserved.  Then, on special occasions, they would be affectionately retrieved to enjoy and revere as reminders of the past they represented.

Milda Backhus      Louis Backhus
Milda, 1928   Louis, 1924

The family's personal activities, such as motor trips, birthdays, anniversaries and holidays, were similarly honored and preserved with photographs, movies, souvenirs, magazines, newspaper articles, & other objects of the passing parade of life.

As part of our family life, my parents involved us in a full range of cultural interests:  symphonies, art galleries, poetry readings, lectures, et cetera.  We learned to value art, music, books, historic places and ideas, helping us to form an appreciation of the past and of America's rich promise.  This is the priceless heritage the Backhus Foundation wishes to honor, preserve and promote.

Thus, we Backhus boys (my brother Louis, Jr, & I), learned to respect effort, honor achievement, and preserve the past.

Stephen, 1957      Louis Jr., 1961
Stephen, 1957   Louis, Jr., 1961

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We invite you to find out more about us by exploring this website.  Look in our News section for brief updates, and do explore our Grants section for more detailed descriptions of each year's grants.  We believe you'll find our grant recipients impressive.

We ask that you to review our accomplishments and we invite you to join with us in celebrating these ideas.  We hope you find our goals and accomplishments as fascinating and worthwhile as we have.  Here's to an artistic, educational, historic, preserved, and enriched association.

    With warmest regards,
            Steve Backhus

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