© 2023 Maine Public | Registered 501(c)(3) EIN: 22-3171529
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

MacKenzie Scott Gives Away Another $2.7B To Charity, Including Two Maine Arts Organizations

MacKenzie Scott, MacKenzie Bezos
Evan Agostini/
On March 4, 2018, MacKenzie Scott, the former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, Calif. Scott, the billionaire philanthropist known for her impromptu multi-billion dollar donations to charities and racial equity causes, announced Tuesday, June 15, 2021, that she has given $2.7 billion to 286 organizations. It is the third round of major philanthropic gifts Scott has made, which together rival the charitable contributions made by the largest foundations.

Two Maine arts organizations are the latest recipients of gifts from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott. Scott announced in a blog post Tuesday that she is giving away another $2.7 billion to combat racial discrimination and support the arts.

317 Main, a community music center in Yarmouth, will receive a $1.5 million donation.

Executive director John Williams says his organization is both thrilled and humbled to have its mission recognized in this way. The music center started out as an informal gathering space for musicians and students 15 years ago. It now offers music education classes for more than 500 people a week.

The Maine Community Foundation's Maine Expansion Arts Fund also received a $2.5 million gift. Its mission is to "strengthen and ensure the future" of Maine artistic traditions.

Scott is the former wife of Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos. In December she announced she was giving away more than $4 billion to 300 organizations around the country including the Good Shepherd Food Bank in Auburn.