Accomplished performer will advise Foundation on
its arts-and-culture economic-development grantmaking
PITTSBURGH (May 10, 2023) – The Richard King Mellon Foundation announced today that Catherine Walker – an accomplished Broadway performer who studied at Carnegie Mellon University – has agreed to serve as the Foundation’s newest Prosser Mellon Fellow. In her role as a Fellow, Walker will lend her unique perspective and expertise as a performing artist to the Foundation’s historic and ongoing efforts to support arts-and-culture organizations in Southwestern Pennsylvania through its economic-development grantmaking.
Walker made her Broadway debut in the original cast of Disney’s hit musical, Mary Poppins. She played Mary for more than 100 performances. Most recently, she starred on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning musical, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. She has starred in numerous productions in major theaters across America. Walker is one of the many prominent performing artists to have trained at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University, where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
“The Richard King Mellon Foundation has invested significantly in Pittsburgh’s arts-and-culture organizations,” said Foundation Director Sam Reiman. “Since 2010, the Foundation’s Trustees have awarded more than $168 million to our region’s arts-and-culture organizations. Pittsburgh is blessed with a remarkable concentration of top-tier arts-and-culture organizations that are deserving of such extraordinary support. It will be invaluable to have an accomplished performing artist, who knows Pittsburgh, and has witnessed innovative practices across the nation, to advise the Foundation and the organizations we serve.”
The Prosser Mellon Fellow initiative – named for the Foundation’s former Board Chair, Seward Prosser Mellon – began in 2021, as part of the Foundation’s 2021-2030 Strategic Plan. Fellows are high-level, part-time positions that give the Foundation and its partners significant expertise in priority areas of focus.
Entrepreneur Craig Markovitz was the first Prosser Mellon Fellow, focusing on the Foundation’s newly launched Social-Impact Investment program. Markovitz served in 2021 and 2022.
Kevin L. Jenkins was named the Foundation’s second Prosser Mellon Fellow in January 2022 and continues to serve in that role. Jenkins also is CEO of the nonprofit Manchester Bidwell Corporation. His work at the Foundation is focused on the Health & Well-Being program.
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About the Richard King Mellon Foundation: Founded in 1947, the Richard King Mellon Foundation is the largest foundation in Southwestern Pennsylvania, and one of the 50 largest in the world. The Foundation’s 2021 year-end net assets were $3.4 billion, and its Trustees in 2022 disbursed more than $152 million in grants and program-related investments. The Foundation focuses its funding on six primary program areas, delineated in its 2021-2030 Strategic Plan.