Our Stories   Serving Society

Jo Ann Andera
Appreciating the power of philanthropy - as both beneficiary and benefactor

“It is really rewarding,” she says, “to have the ability to help provide scholarships to students who are wanting to get an education, who see the value and importance of an education, who develop a well-rounded perspective and then go out into the real world and rely on what they’ve learned.”

- Jo Ann Andera

The Institute of Texan Cultures’ Jo Ann Andera, director of the Texas Folklife Festival, certainly knows how important private donations are to this renowned cultural celebration.

“The first festival in 1972 had support from some foundations, and ever since then we’ve been generating our own income. Without the help we receive from our corporate, foundation and individual sponsors and partners, there probably wouldn’t be a Texas Folklife Festival. We certainly couldn’t provide some of the programs and underwrite some of the educational projects we do without private funds.”

While Andera spends much of her time building relationships that benefit the Institute of Texan Cultures and translate into Texas Folklife Festival sponsorships, she’s also helping to “sponsor” some university programs through her own philanthropy.

A generous donor to several scholarship funds, Roadrunner Athletics and, of course, the Friends of the TFF, Andera said that she gives back to UTSA “because I think education is the single most important part of a person’s life.”

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