(MAM) & Yard School of Art offer American, Native American, & contemporary art exhibitions, programs, & classes in NJ



Lifelong artists and advocates Lisa and Bill Westheimer are firm believers that “the greatest gift anyone can be given in life is an opportunity.” Motivated by the desire to  give all students access to a well-rounded arts education, they launched their own fundraising campaign at MAM. Every summer, Lisa and Bill solicit donations for SummerART camp scholarships for underprivileged students. This campaign has continued to grow thanks to the Westheimer’s tireless efforts year after year.


This worthwhile effort began when Lisa was approached to teach in the ceramics studio at the Yard School of Art shortly before it opened. When Lisa began teaching ceramics to pre-teens in SummerART camp in 2012, she learned that there was a startling lack of cultural and economic diversity among the student body. That is when she decided to shift her impact on SummerART camp from teaching to increasing diversity.


Today, the Westheimers are responsible for providing about 50 underprivileged kids with scholarships to MAM’s SummerART camps. These comprehensive scholarships include the expense of enrollment, a lunch box and water bottle, a gift certificate to a local art store so that students can purchase camp supplies, and a one year Family Membership. Lisa expressed that when teaching at SummerART camp, she noticed that the children at lunch time would show off their lunch boxes and water bottles, and also bring art supplies from home to play with. She wanted the scholarship recipients to feel included in that social interaction.


The Westheimers want to ensure that all potential donors feel included and inclined to participate in this worthwhile cause. Any donation amount is welcome; it does not cost much to change a child’s life and sometimes parents can’t do it alone. Lisa reminds us that “the children of our community at large are all our responsibility.”


Lisa and Bill are incredibly passionate about education and feel that they are honoring all 4 of their parents by carrying on their legacy of philanthropy in arts and education. “My father-in-law taught me that funding a worthy cause should have a beginning and an end, because very worthy causes need to make themselves self-sustaining,” Lisa explained. This will be their last summer pushing forward these scholarships, as they are eager to fund some new programs in need. Their hope is that like-minded individuals or corporations will pick up where they left off and continue fundraising efforts for scholarships to ensure that future generations benefit from the SummerArt camp experience.


Help MAM provide the invaluable experience of art for underprivileged students by donating today.