The Creative Education Foundation (CEF) is honored to announce a $100,000 gift from the Parnes Family to provide on-going support for CEF’s operations and programs.  We are deeply grateful for this gift and honored to continue to serve Sidney J. Parnes’ legacy.

Many members of the CEF community got to learn from Sid Parnes.  To this day, remembrances of Sid, as a teacher, mentor, and inspiration, light up his students’ faces.  Bea Parnes’ legacy to CEF has been similarly profound and impactful.  It was Bea who asked Sid and Alex Osborn in the early days of the Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI), “What about the ladies?”, after seeing classes filled only with male participants.  It was Bea Parnes who broke the gender barrier at CPSI, and today the world benefits from programs and processes initiated by Alex and Sid, and pushed forward by Bea and generations of creativity leaders trained at CEF and CPSI.

In 2014, Bea Parnes was the driving force behind the creation of the Sidney J. Parnes Global Fellowship.  She donated $10,000 every year for five years to launch this program, which to date has trained rising community leaders in Pakistan, Africa, Mexico, and the United States.  To deepen the impact of the Fellowship, we are now working with Buffalo, NY nonprofit leaders who serve immigrants and displaced persons.  In this way, we have been able to invest in Buffalo, the birthplace of CPS, while serving people from all around the globe.  Because so many of our talented volunteers and CPS trainers live in Buffalo, Parnes Fellows now have more opportunities to work directly with their teachers and mentors.  In the coming years, we look to go deep with training for multiple leaders at these important social service nonprofits, and even to expand to sister organizations across the country as we increase our capacity to serve them.  If you are interested in helping us create this future capacity for the Parnes Fellowship, click here to read about how you can make a Legacy Gift to the program.

This continued devotion to CEF and CPSI, and to Sid’s vision of a more creative world, extends to Bea and Sid’s daughter, Sue Parnes, and their son-in-law, Bill Hartwell.  For the past few years, Sue and Bill have escorted Bea to CPSI, allowing us to continue to celebrate Bea and her legacy.  Bill has donated access to his music to CPSI attendees, and has also performed at CPSI, helping us to cultivate the CPSI magic.  Sue continues to give her time to the Parnes Fellowship, and keeps in regular contact with CEF staff.  When talking about this gift to CEF, Sue recalled a note from her father in which he wrote, “If CEF is still around, I want you to support them.  It’s important.”

On behalf of the Board and Staff of the Creative Education Foundation, I express deep gratitude to the Parnes Family and their continued, significant investment in our work.