The Arete Fund
The Arete Fund is a non-profit, charitable organization that supports education locally and acts globally to encourage greater cultural understanding by means of humanitarian, educational and artistic projects. Arete makes annual contributions towards the first year of college on behalf of needy and deserving high school seniors who exemplify Arete — an ancient word for virtue and excellence — and in turn, seeks to rekindle its ancient meaning for the modern day as a means of fostering mutual respect and good will. It was initiated in 1996
with the proceeds from founder Dianne Tittle de Laet’s memoir, Giants & Heroes: A Daughter’s Memories of Y.A. Tittle. Dianne is the Executive Director of the fund.
Since then, Arete has done humanitarian work in Darfur, Sudan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Morocco, Bethlehem, Mongolia, Guatemala, Philipines, and Tibet. Educationally, the fund provides annual scholarships for deserving individuals who aspire to attend college or trade school at Menlo-Atherton High School in Atherton, California, and supports 14-20 students who attend La Escuela de los Sordos (The School for the Deaf) in Quetalzenango, Guatamala. Arete also provided annual scholarships to graduating seniors at Hopi High School in Polacca, Arizona for seven years.
Since 2008, Arete has facilitated cultural exchange at ElaGaia, a stone farmhouse near the Greek village of Houni on the Peloponese. The threshing floor at ElaGaia was restored as a theatre and Arete has been privileged to host performances by Greek school children, storytelling for students from LSU, a conference on culture for the Green Political Party, and numerous performances by international artists that include Yuriko Doi of the Theatre of Yugen, The Acoustic Vortex, The Red Desert Dance Troupe, and most recently, American jazz great, Howard Paul, and his Greek counterpart Christofis Lefteris. In 2013, Arete hosted a talented 15-year- old jazz vocalist and pianist from the Music School in Prosymni, Greece, to come to the United States and attend The Stanford Jazz Workshop.
To date, it has been our priority to support education locally and to defend our shared humanity in a time of religious strife with humanitarian projects and cultural outreach abroad. Arete’s next step is to move more forcefully on behalf of the education of women in developing nations. Our intention is to collaborate with other non-profit organizations for the purpose of advancing the educational opportunities for women with particular emphasis given to those who dwell in conflict zones and areas where the rights of women are given little, if any, respect. To bring added funds to projects that serve this expanded mission, a full portion of all proceeds from Dianne Tittle de Laet’s creative work will be donated to The Arete Fund.