The Greg Dokes Foundation (TGDF) is created to fund performing arts education for secondary students from low-income households and students who would be the first generation in their immediate families to earn a bachelor’s degree.
More specifically, The Greg Dokes Foundation is developed to partner with Oakland University’s Project Upward Bound (PUB) Rochester, Michigan, to assure access to and facilitation of performing arts programming.
PUB serves this population and has an existing relationship with the organization. For as long as they both exist, The Greg Dokes Foundation is committed to providing financial support to PUB for this purpose.
Should PUB cease to exist, then The Greg Dokes Foundation will identify a new partner to continue providing similar services to a similar population.
In the partnership, PUB will provide instructional support, classroom space, and administrative oversight of programming while,
The Greg Dokes Foundation is committed to funding items that may not be allowable or funded in the PUB grant such as performance facility rental, costuming, stage design supplies, and fees for professional services.
The initial strategy involves funding support for two particular projects:
• PUB Academy Annual Stage Performance, $20,000:
PUB’s Summer Academy Performing Arts class has been its most popular learning experience for a number of years. The attraction is that it creates a multitude of appropriate outlets of expression for PUB Scholars including writing, drama, dance, music, stage design, production, and spoken word.
The confidence that PUB Scholars gain from developing and presenting a stage performance for a live audience generalizes to other parts of their lives and helps them begin to realize their full potential.
The goal of The Greg Dokes Foundation in respect to the summer stage performance is to supplement resources that will make this experience more robust with the intent to enhance Scholars’ personal and creative growth even more.
• Gospel Explosion, $30,000:
For 50+ years, small scholarships have been funded for PUB alumni who enroll at Oakland University by hosting an annual “Gospelfest.” Organized and hosted by the PUB Parent Association, Gospelfest began as a presentation of local talent with a nominal admission fee that went exclusively for scholarships.
As parent interest waned and with PUB as OU’s legacy community engagement program, PUB partnered with the OU-Pontiac Initiative to present an evolved “Gospel Explosion” beginning in 2018. Free to the public, these efforts generated donations that provided scholarships in the same amounts as with the previous structure. The Gospel Explosion still included PUB Scholars and local talent, but featured a nationally known headliner.
In 2020, this annual event was sidelined by COVID-19 restrictions. It is The Greg Dokes Foundation goal to support a regenerated effort by generating sponsored named scholarships at more significant levels for PUB alumni.
Once funding for these two projects is ongoing and stable, The Greg Dokes Foundation will consider expanding its support to other areas that are in synergy with the mission of PUB such as exposing PUB Scholars to careers in the arts that require degrees or sponsoring programs that present the intersection of arts and culture.