The William E. Schmidt Foundation was formed in Indiana in 1992 with the love, support and guidance of Mr. Schmidt and his extended family. Mr. Schmidt’s family is still actively involved in the operation and mission of the Foundation today.
As described in the mission statement, the primary goal of the Foundation has always been to help others, emphasizing that the equation of education + initiative + hard work can result in success, as Mr. Schmidt personified in his life. Mr. Schmidt especially wanted to help youth interested and/or talented in the arts.
Since its early years, the Foundation’s major grant support has generally been centered in the Southern Indiana and Sarasota, Florida, areas where Mr. Schmidt had residences and philanthropic interests. These interests have included organizations and substantial projects such as the Speak Loud Gallery at the Children’s Museum of Evansville, the William E. Schmidt Opera Theatre at the Sarasota Opera, the Schmidt Vocal Arts Center at the University of Kentucky and the Schmidt Creative Arts Scholarships at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
In 2002, the Foundation made a commitment to expanding opportunities for youth interested in the arts, especially in the areas of vocal arts and education. Since that time, initiatives such as the Schmidt Vocal Competitions have become widely respected programs that have cultivated gifts and provided opportunities to youth throughout the United States.
Today, the Foundation supports organizations that can make a true difference in their communities impacting as many people as possible though the arts, education and youth programs.
Mr. Schmidt passed away in 2014 after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s Disease. His legacy of philanthropy and entrepreneurship will continue for future generations through the work of the Foundation and the thousands of people it continues to reach.