We are excited to report on some wonderful news from the Clarion Foundation! The Foundation has just received a gift of $100,000, to be used to launch an endowment fund, and secure a permanent future for the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop at the University of California at San Diego.
The anonymous donor asked that the gift be used to secure the future of the workshop. “The Clarion Workshop has been one of the best incubators of talent in science fiction and fantasy for almost fifty years. It’s my hope that this donation will help the workshop last for another fifty years and continue changing the lives of writers and readers.” The Clarion Foundation has long planned for an endowment that will ensure the workshop’s long-term success.
“Our global civilization is now embarked on an unconstrained experiment in long-term sustainability, which we have to get right for the sake of the generations to come,” says Clarion Foundation Vice President Kim Stanley Robinson. “Science fiction stories, ranging from utopian to dystopian, are what we do now to imagine outcomes that help us evaluate our present practices. The Clarion workshop nurtures and trains writers to change the ways we think about the future, and it helps to connect the sciences and the arts at UC San Diego and around the world. We’re thrilled with this gift, which enables us to continue that crucial work.
The Clarion Workshop was founded by Robin Bailey, Damon Knight, and Kate Wilhelm in 1968 and was for many years housed at Michigan State University. In 2005, when MSU withdrew financial support for the program, it was almost lost. The Clarion Foundation was formed shortly after by Wilhelm, Fowler, and other Clarion supporters in the science fiction and fantasy community. With the foundation’s help, the workshop was successfully moved to its current home at UC San Diego in 2006. More recently, the workshop became an affiliate program within UCSD’s Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination, an integrated research center where engineering, medicine, and the arts, sciences, and humanities explore the basis of imagination.
The Clarion Foundation partners with UCSD in the delivery of the workshop, with the foundation managing faculty selection and the admissions process and UCSD managing the six-week summer workshop. The foundation has annually conducted fundraising campaigns that allow it to provide about $12,000 in scholarships each year and to cover expenses.
Clarion Foundation president Karen Joy Fowler expressed her appreciation for the gift, saying “This is tremendously important to all of us who have worked with, for, and on behalf of Clarion over the years. For us, the workshop is a labor of love. Having these funds in hand allows us to plan for the future in a way we’ve never been able to before. This gift provides a solid foundation on which we can build.”
“The ability to have an endowment that ensures Clarion will be on a sound footing in the decades to come is incredibly important to us,” Fowler continued. “It’s an endorsement of the work of all of us who make up the Clarion community and work so hard to ensure that it thrives. We are deeply grateful.”
You can see more about this generous gift over at Clarion’s site!