BarbraNews.com Talks To The Streisand
I thought it would be an important time to talk to The
Streisand Foundation. Here's a rare interview.
Special thanks Marge Tabankin,
Marty Erlichman and Dick Guttman
BARBRANEWS.COM TALKS TO...
Interview by Craig Hall (BarbraNews)
(Above: Marge Tabankin: Executive Director of The Streisand
1. Tell us why the
foundation was started in 1986? What is your role?
The Foundation began 20 years ago shortly after the Chernobyl
Nuclear disaster. Barbra was so affected by the repercussions
of what had happened and was fearful about nuclear
proliferation and the destruction of the environment that she
held a fundraising concert at her home. The proceeds from the
sales of the record, the television show and the VHS of the
concert went toward the creation of the Streisand Foundation.
I have been the executive director of the Foundation since
2. Primarily, who and
what does the foundation support?
When the Foundation began in 1986, the primary funding focus
was nuclear disarmament, preservation of the environment and
the protection of the civil rights and civil liberties of all
people. We have now expanded our focus to include education,
women’s issues, AIDS research and advocacy and voter
participation. For example, in the area of environmental
preservation we have funded the NRDC, Oceana, Environmental
Working Group, Environmental Defense and Rainforest Action
3. Approx how much has
the foundation given away to its causes? (I hope this isn't
confidential -- if it is, skip the question).
No, this is public information that anyone can access. In
addition to the 15 million dollars that Barbra has personally
helped various organizations raise through performances, the
Streisand Foundation has given away 16 million through its
grant making. Most recently, she was the lead funder with a $1
million grant to the William Jefferson Clinton Foundation to
support President Clinton’s new climate change initiative. The
goal of this project is to bring major cities around the world
together to combine their purchasing power and to actively
cooperate in identifying and jump-starting programs to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions.
4. Have you been with
the foundation since the beginning?
Yes, I have known and worked with Barbra for 20 years.
5. Tell us about your
relationship (professional) to Barbra?
Barbra is an activist. She is engaged in public policy issues
and is informed and knowledgeable about civic life. She is
also a committed philanthropist who cares about giving back to
the society that has given her so much. I research
organizations that request funds and help find organizations
that are working on issues that she is concerned about. After
20 years of working together and shared values, we have formed
a close friendship.
6. Barbra's good
friends Richard Baskin, The Bergmans and even Barbra's son,
Jason are board members. What does their role involve?
The board members of the Foundation meet to discuss the
Foundation’s policies and giving priorities.
7. If someone wanted to
make a donation to the Foundation -- how would they do that?
Barbra has wonderful, generous fans who already have made
contributions to the Foundation. If others are interested in
doing so, they can send a check made out to The Streisand
Foundation. All gifts to the Foundation are tax deductible.
The address is:
The Streisand Foundation
2800 28th St. #105
Santa Monica, CA 90405
8. The proceeds from
the One Voice concert in 1986 went to the foundation, along
with profits from the VHS and forthcoming DVD release -- Are
you hopeful to raise a significant amount from the DVD
Yes, we hope the DVD does well so that the Foundation will be
able to reap the benefits of its success. We want fans to
realize that their money is going to worthwhile, important
causes. The Streisand Foundation has funded nearly 700
non-profit organizations in the last 20 years and we hope that
we can continue this important work for many years to come.
9. Barbra doesn't
really issue press releases when a donation is made -- Why do
you think this is?
Barbra’s commitment to philanthropy is not based upon
receiving recognition and accolades. She is a philanthropist
because she truly cares about the state of the world and
working to help better it. Unless she has contributed to the
launch of an important project or program that she feels would
benefit from the publicity of a press release, she doesn’t
feel the need to publicize her donations.
10. Barbra's timeless
shows were billed as farewell shows -- but fans are getting
the chance to see her perform live again in the fall -- tell
us a bit about where the designated proceeds will go to...
The primary reason Barbra decided to get back on stage and
tour was because she felt there were so many causes that she
wanted to continue to support. This tour will help raise a
significant amount of money for them. A portion of the tour
proceeds will go to the Streisand Foundation, which will then
be distributed among various organizations working to solve
important problems, specifically the environment/global
warming, education and women’s health issues. And we have all
of Barbra’s fans to thank for that!
Marge Tabankin (left), Barbra Streisand and Donna Karan attend
the 2nd Annual Clinton Global Initiative.)
You can also
see Interview Clips with Ms. Tabankin on the 2001 E! Special
on Barbra Streisand.
Previous BarbraNews.com Interviews HERE
include Jay Landers, Ann Hampton Callaway, Lauren Frost,