Trish Kennedy and Erin Maker at the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod's Prelude to Summer Gala.

Trish Kennedy Imparts the Importance of Giving

When the Arts Foundation named seasoned entrepreneur and philanthropist Trish Kennedy the Honorary Chair of this year’s Prelude to Summer Gala, she acknowledged our collective roles in strengthening the region’s arts sector. “It is our job to help support it and make sure the arts are well-cared for and protected so it can continue to give us this joy,” she said.

In June, Trish backed that statement up with a $150,000 donation to the Arts Foundation, a transformative gift that has enabled our organization to take meaningful steps in its growth while elevating the work we are doing to strengthen the arts sector.

Sitting alongside Trish was her longtime colleague and friend, Erin Maker. The pair’s relationship started in 2006 when Erin was hired at BackOffice Associates, a software company that Kennedy launched with her husband Tom in 1998 and which they later sold in 2011.

“I know the arts are incredibly important to Trish and Tom and they find it to be undervalued in society,” said Erin. “They are involved in different ways with the arts. …They want to inspire other people to give. It doesn’t have to be a large gift. You can find a way to volunteer your time.”

Having worked closely with Trish over the past 17 years has served as an education for Erin, who attended Barnstable High School and earned her bachelor’s degree from Villanova University. “Every day is a new challenge and I’m constantly exposed to things I never would have imagined in my life,” Erin said. “I’ve learned to step outside of my comfort zone from Trish. …She’s shown me you can be assertive and speak your mind and you can disagree with people and do so respectfully and firmly and not back down. She has been an incredible mentor to me.”

Perhaps the greatest lesson Trish has taught her is the importance of giving. “She has been incredibly generous to the community,” Erin said. “That has been inspiring to me – that in life you get so much joy out of giving.”

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Learn more about the impact Trish Kennedy has had on the Arts Foundation here.