The Kentlands Community Foundation (KCF) is a not-for-profit educational and cultural organization established in 1993 and dedicated to enriching civic life. Our mission is threefold:
- To build community by supporting local arts and cultural programs,
- To provide opportunities for volunteerism and community outreach, and
- To serve as an educational resource on the landmark new urbanist community that is Kentlands.
In addition to serving Kentlands and Lakelands, the KCF also serves the wider Gaithersburg community and is a frequent partner with the City of Gaithersburg on a variety of programs.
Located in the nationally-acclaimed community of Kentlands, less than 20 miles from Washington D.C., the Foundation believes that the neighborhood is the heart of American society. Our programs seek to connect individuals and families in ways that enhance everyday life and encourage civic involvement.
The concept for the KCF was, from the beginning, a part of the vision for Kentlands. When Joseph Alfandre began to plan a community that would reshape the way communities are designed and built, he recognized that communities are constructed of more than roads and buildings. While the Master Plan for Kentlands may create opportunities for neighborhood life, the real “spirit of community” grows out of the relationships, shared goals and civic involvement of those who live and work in the community.
Mr. Alfandre was committed to three ideas 1) that through participation in the arts, including civic arts, life-long learning occurs; 2) that each generation can and must guide and enrich the others; 3) and that strong involvement at the neighborhood level will lead to active participation in our democratic society. He envisioned the Foundation to be the organization that would help fulfill the potential of Kentlands by providing exposure to the arts, and by educating the public about the civic issues underlying the plan for Kentlands.
New Urbanism and Sustainable Development: The neighborhood of Kentlands, designed by Duany, Plater-Zyberk, is a model for New Urbanism. New Urban communities are designed for the pedestrian, but also accommodate cars and transit. The environment is an integrated mix of homes, offices, stores and civic buildings serving a diverse population. The architecture reflects the ecology and culture of the local area, while conserving the natural environment. New Urban design offers residents greater opportunities to build cohesive neighborhoods and participate in community life. With acres of connected greenways protecting the natural systems, the preservation of mature trees and networks of pedestrian trails throughout, a sustainable community has developed here in Gaithersburg.
Foundation Programs: KCF programs balance arts and cultural activities that enrich the lives of people of all ages with opportunities for community outreach and volunteerism, along with educational programs designed to increase the public’s understanding of the issues and ideas underlying traditional neighborhood design. All programs are volunteer led.
- Arts & Culture: The Kentlands Film Society, Kentlands Acoustic Jam, The Kentlands Digital Photography Association, partnership with the City of Gaithersburg to deliver the Annual Young Artist Awards and Concert, Artists on Market– a pop up gallery, and the annual Children’s’ 5K Art Competition.
- Volunteerism & Community Outreach: The Village at Kentlands, KidServe, Kentlands Under the Lights, the Community Bridge Club, Go Green, Cub Scout Pack 221, the Annual Kentlands/Lakelands 5k.
- New Urbanism: The educational New Urbanist Lecture Series in 2016/2017, and Docent-led Tours provided to groups from around the world.
Structure of the Foundation: The Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization, and it’s governmental structure has two layers. The first is a Board of Directors, which oversees Foundation activities and policies. Members are appointed from the Gaithersburg/Montgomery County government, business, arts, and town planning communities, and from the residents of Kentlands and Lakelands. The second layer is composed of the volunteer leaders who plan and run programs and outreach efforts. Professional staff provides leadership in accomplishing the goals of the KCF.
Read more about New Urbanism here.