Updated June, 2017


2017 NEWS!!
The Backhus Foundation Grant for 2017 returns us to a very successful and close to home project.

The Backhus Foundation Board has voted to grant additional funds to our previous grant recipient,

- - - The Historic Overlook Community Club - - -

This fine organization is working hard to return an important piece of Waterbury, Connecticut history to its former splendor - the large and fabulous Fulton Park in the Overlook section of Waterbury.

Your Foundation President spent many a glorious summer day playing baseball and many crisp, cold winter afternoons ice skating on the "pond" and enjoying the comfort of the 1930's built warming hut.

The Overlook Club has participated in the long process of restoration of the Hut, + many surrounding features such as rose arbors, paths and decorative grottos. They have also produced their "Fulton Park Map & Guide" to provide today's visitors a way to enjoy these restored features, as we who lived there did in the 1950's.

The Club's efforts have been so successful that they have run out of "Fulton Park Map & Guide" brochures.

Therefore, the Backhus Foundation, for 2016-2017, has voted funds matching our 2014 Grant to the Overlook Club for the printing of a new run of their brochures for this year's park use season.

We are happy to see Fulton Park return to its glory and pleased to provide more funds to help.

Your President, Stephen E. Backhus

For 2016, the Backhus Foundation is pleased to announce a hard cover version of our just-published book, "Folk Tales Of Northern Lithuania", edited by Robert J. Staneslow. Through special arrangement with a premier bookbinding service here in Northern Nevada, we were able to have a number of our published "Folk Tales" books bound in a beautiful deep blue, silver-lettered hard cover edition (see the pictures below).

As we noted last year, you can purchase a soft cover version of "Folk Tales" through Amazon.com. You can use the links provided or just type in "Folk Tales of Northern Lithuania and the soft cover version should come up on Amazon.

The hard cover version is available only from the Backhus Foundation, or from the editor of the "Folk Tales" soft cover book, Robert J. Staneslow, and is in VERY limited supply. The cost will be about $30.00 + shipping. Contact the Foundation via our e-mail below for details on how to order.

We have been delighted to be able to bring "Folk Tales Of Northern Lithuania" to life in English for a new generation of Lithuanian literature lovers to enjoy. Here's to a great rest of 2016 and a fruitful 2017.

Stephen Backhus, President

******    NEWS FLASH - 2014-2015    ******

The Backhus Foundation is pleased to announce two Grants for 2014-2015:

1)  Our first Grant in 2014 was for a project close to our original home and origins - "The Historic Overlook Community Club", is creating and publishing a "Fulton Park Map & Guide", so that local residents of the Overlook section of Waterbury, Connecticut, and visitors, can appreciate the beauty of the lovely and gracious Fulton Park, a park comparable to Central Park in Manhattan, and designed by the same architectural firm as Central Park (Fredrick Law Olmstead)!

The brochure and map will be ready for printing by early 2016!

2)  For 2014-5, The Backhus Foundation is very pleased to announce the publication of its 2013-4 Grant - the Lithuanian Translation Project!  The book, (pictured below), titled, "Folk Tales of Northern Lithuania", (collected by Matas Slanciauskas), by Robert J. Staneslow, is available to the public via Amazon.com, and the Backhus Foundation will be distributing copies of the work to various Lithuanian historical organizations in 2016, and beyond.

This is the first accomplished translation into English, that we know of, of a work by the famous Lithuanian patriot, M. Slanciauskas!

******    2013 AWARD    ******
Backhus Foundation to fund English translation of Folk Tales book by the famous Lithuanian National Hero, Matas Slanciauskas!  The noted Lithuanian patriot and author wrote many books in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  This is, to our knowledge, the first time one of his books will be translated into English!  You can find more info on this important Lithuanian hero by Googling: Matas Slanciauskas - Enjoy!!

******    2012 AWARDS    ******
Our first 2012 Grant award went to the little-known Northern Nevada Institution: Hawthorne Ordnance Museum located in Hawthorne, Nv.

This remarkable institution preserves the story of our Navy, Army, and other services history of armaments.  They have a spectacular collection of weaponry, munitions, ordnance artifacts, and many personal histories of members of the Armed Forces who served, and sometimes gave their lives, in these units.

With the help of our 2012 Grant, the Hawthorne Ordnance Museum is erecting a monument to those who gave their lives in the Ordnance Service here at home.  The valor of these soldiers is not widely known, yet their heroism and sacrifice make as compelling a story as those of combat veterans.

The Backhus Foundation is proud to help honor these fallen heroes.


Shepaug Valley Middle School 8th graders' 2010 project --- 2nd Edition printing!

Our second 2012 Grant award was an additional grant to the Gunn Memorial Museum of Washington, CT, to publish a 2nd edition of the book, "New Preston Soldiers in the Civil War: Through Their Letters".

This award-winning work sold out in its first printing.

The Backhus Foundation, working with the Gunn Museum, funded the 2nd printing of the book!  That means that people who missed out on this marvelous work will get another chance to see or obtain it!

Read below for details of this great book and see more about these projects in our Grants section.

Three awards for Shepaug Valley Middle School 8th graders' "Letters from the Battlefield: Stories of Washington's Civil War Soldiers"!

With our 2010 grant assistance, 8th grade students from Shepaug Valley Middle School, in a team effort with the Gunn Memorial Museum of Washington, CT, were able to devote time to organize, transcribe, and publish a number of the letters written by Civil War soldiers from the New Preston area.

We are thrilled to report that this project has received
three prestigious awards!

An excerpt from the announcement reads:

"The Gunn Memorial Museum was recognized for its commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War in 2011.
The public exhibit, "Letters from the Battlefield: Stories of Washington's Civil War Soldiers", was created by Museum staff and volunteers and incorporated a scholar lecture series as well as a social studies project with the 8th grade students of Shepaug Valley Middle School. This innovative work garnered three awards:
  • Award for Excellence in Public History from The Society of Civil War Historians with a $5,000 prize from the Blue and Gray Education Society;

  • Award of Merit from the Connecticut League of History Organizations; and

  • Leadership in History Award from the American Association for State and Local History."

Read more about this project in our Grants section.

Way to go 8th graders!!


Our 1999 Grant:  The Meridian Gallery Mural Project is the wonderful mural Meridian Gallery students created.  (Reproduced in miniature below {it's 8'x32'!})  We are very happy to have helped fund the project (see our Grants section for additional details).

With more than 200,000 people viewing it, the mural has been a spectacular success and a marvelous addition to the San Francisco artscape.

The city is so pleased, it has made the mural a permanent exhibit at the Powell Street BART Station!  When in San Francisco, please take the time to go see it.

Click the pic for a larger view.


Our year 2000 grant project funded a Poetry and Literacy Project at the public school, Carrington Elementary, located in Waterbury, Ct (several Directors' birthplace).  The project finished up in the Spring of 2001.  The PHOTOS indicate it was a great success!  Look for a full Poetry Project report in our Grants section.


We are very happy to announce that Natalie R. Cox, our first grant recipient has completed her CD and has copies ready for sale to the public.  Several of our Directors have heard it and the music is wonderfully rich and beautifully recorded.  The CD is entitled Cello & Harp.  Visit Natalie's website:  www.NatalieCoxHarps.com


Be sure to look in our Grants section to get acquainted with our fine recipients.


Do examine our list of fine recipients.

  Sonoma County Repertory Theatre, Sebastopol, Ca.
  Topanga Symphony, Topanga, Ca.
  Redwood Arts Council, Occidental, Ca.
  Morris Turner, III, Historian, Rohnert Park, Ca.
  Topanga Symphony (2nd year!), Topanga, Ca.
  Incline Chamber Music Society, Incline Village, Nv.
  Sonoma County Repertory Theatre (Scholarship Program), Sebastopol, Ca.
  Hillside Historic District, Waterbury, Ct.
  California Genealogical Society, Oakland, Ca.
  Berkwood-Hedge School, Berkeley, Ca.
  Outward Bound - Lighthouse Community Charter High School of Oakland, Ca.
  Mattatuck Museum, Hillside Book Project, Waterbury, Ct.
  Shakesperience Productions, Waterbury, Ct.
  Drawbridge Art Program, San Rafael, Ca.
  Space Science 4 Schools, Carson City, Nv.
  Random Acts, Berkeley, Ca.
  Sierra Lutheran High School, Carson City, Nv.
  Sunnyside Preschool, Sherman Oaks, Ca.
  Gunn Memorial Museum, Washington, Ct.
  Connellsville Area Historical Society, Connellsville, Pa.
  Carrington School of Waterbury, Ct.
  Hawthorne Ordnance Museum of Hawthorne, Nv
  Gunn Memorial Museum
2013 - 2015:
  Folk Tales of Northern Lithuania, edited by Robert J. Staneslow
2014 - 2015:
  The Historic Overlook Community Club
  Hardcover version of "Folk Tales Of Northern Lithuania", edited by Robert J. Staneslow
  The Historic Overlook Community Club
See full reports in our Grants section.

Visit this section of our website frequently for our latest news updates.

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