June 9, 2022
The Lloyd A. Fry Foundation Celebrates Sydney Sidwell
The Lloyd A. Fry Foundation bids a fond farewell to our longtime colleague Sydney Sidwell. Sydney has been in the philanthropic space for over three decades and has been with the Fry Foundation since 2005. She served as the Director of Education and Arts Learning. She led the Foundation’s grantmaking that strengthened student opportunities to perform and engage in the artmaking process. She also developed and led the Foundation’s grantmaking strategy for improving school leadership in Chicago Public Schools in order to improve learning opportunities for students.
Paul Sznewajs, CEO of Parliament and former Executive Director of Fry Foundation grantee Ingenuity, shares, “Congratulations on a remarkable career Syd. We’ve said over the years that Chicago is a city where one can work with others to get things done and create lasting change. Your work over decades is so representative of that ideal. You’ve been a remarkable mentor, teacher, instigator, colleague and friend to me for over 20 years, and it’s not an overstatement to say I’m indebted to you for much of my success and career. Thank you for all you’ve done for me, for our city, and not least the children and families who call Chicago’s neighborhoods home. Should we all be so lucky to have our lives touched by you.”
Michelle T. Boone, President of the Poetry Foundation and colleague, shares her thoughts. "What a legacy Sydney leaves as she retires from the Fry Foundation. Over the years, her advice, counsel, and wisdom to so many grantees/organizations - and fellow funding colleagues - have positioned arts education in our city on more solid ground. She has been a trusted thought-partner to so many of us, and an important advocate and champion for advancing access in the arts for all. She has positioned the Fry Foundation as an important and vital collaborator and resource for arts education. Thank you, Sydney. Brava!"
President of the Fry Foundation, Unmi Song, writes, “It’s hard to have a better colleague and friend than Sydney. She is a terrific supporter, advocate, and advisor. She has been central to the Fry Foundation during both her rounds of service here. Her insights, perspectives, and ideas have shaped much of the culture of the Fry Foundation today. She personified the Foundation’s goal of finding ways to be helpful to Chicago’s nonprofit community and especially CPS students. And there was no one more excited to see great student art! We all will continue to benefit from the wisdom of her legacy, and we already miss her!”
Lloyd “Chip” Fry, board chair of the Fry Foundation, shares his thoughts. “During your time, we have had three different names for the “arts” grantmaking area – I am glad we have finally settled on Arts Learning. No matter the label, no matter your task, you are an extraordinary professional and an extraordinary person. And you do it all with such care and joy. It has been my joy to work with you. Thank you, thank you, for all you have done for me and the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation. I am honored to call you my friend.”
The Fry Foundation thanks Sydney for her time and dedication over the years and wishes her well as she finds more time to travel and relax with her family.