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Jon Sims Endowment Fund for the Performing Arts

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The Jon Sims Endowment Fund for the Performing Arts (JSEF) provides financial Support for nonprofit LGBTQ+ Performing Arts Organizations. It does this by attracting donations and bequests, investing these contributions, and distributing grants to qualified groups.

The organization was founded in 1989 in San Francisco and is still based there. Initially created with an investment of $50,000, JSEF controls $1,100,000 as of January 1, 2024.

JSEF is named for Jon Reed Sims, who in 1978 founded the San Francisco Lesbian/Gay Freedom Band, the world's first openly gay musical organization.[1] Later that year, Sims founded the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus and several other vocal, swing, tap, and orchestral groups. Jon Sims died of AIDS in 1984 but his legacy lives on at JSEF.

15 LGBTQ+ non profit organizations have invested funds with JSEF as of January 1, 2024. These are mostly community concert & marching bands, one choral group, and an international cheerleading organization. This is in addition to JSEF's own funds which it has acquired over the years through several bequests by individuals.

Since 1989, more than $182,000 has been granted to eligible organizations for such purposes as: commissioning new musical works, purchase of musical instruments, preservation and presentation of archival materials, and acquisition of hard assets such as performer risers and equipment storage racks.

JSEF is managed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors, numbering seven individuals as of March 2024. The organization has a professional Financial Advisor who receives compensation for their advice.

The JSEF website contains more details.[2]

JSEF is also listed on several charity tracking sites, including: ProPublica[3] Guidestar[4] Cause IQ[5] Instrumentl[6]


  1. "Biography of Jon Reed Sims". 14 November 2019.
  2. "JSEF website".
  3. "Pro Publica website". 9 May 2013.
  4. "Guidestar website".
  5. "Cause IQ website".
  6. "Instrumentl website".

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