Foundation for Dubuque Public Schools Announces Allison Cress Endowment for Art Education

DUBUQUE, IOWA – The family of Allison Cress has established an endowed memorial fund with the Foundation for Dubuque Public Schools (FDPS). The Allison Cress Endowment for Art Education empowers students in further developing their creativity and artistic skills by supporting the art education program at Hempstead High School.

Allison Cress passed away from cancer on June 5th, 2017 - two days after graduating from Hempstead High School. According to Allison’s mother, Holly and her stepfather Rafic Sinno, “Allison truly appreciated art; it was her lens into the world. Art brought together her interest in storytelling, history, sociology, and psychology. Her enduring commitment to art is reflected through the many notebooks, sketchbooks, paintings, and art pieces she created and exhibited.”

“Beyond producing her own work, Allison took pride in seeing aspiring artists grow. She was, at heart, an educator who was always willing to share her skills and passion with fellow artists. Her teacher, Ms. Sara Hilby, inspired Allison to reach for her utmost potential. She challenged Allison to not only be a great artist but also a great student. Ms. Hilby's name was mentioned weekly if not daily at our house – a name that prompted our joy. We dedicate this endowment to support art education in Allison's honor and to support wonderful art teachers like Ms. Hilby in fostering creativity and developing skills in aspiring artists.”

The Allison Cress Endowment for Art Education is a permanent fund, invested with FDPS’ partner agency, the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque. Donations are eligible for the Endow Iowa 25% State Tax Credit, and the annual earnings will be used to provide grants in support of the visual arts program at Hempstead High School now, and forever. Friends, family, school district staff, and the public are invited to make their own charitable gifts to this fund, in support of Allison’s legacy and passion for art education in Dubuque.

For more information, contact Jennifer Klinkhammer, FDPS executive director, at or 563.588.2700 or visit

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About Us
Founded in 2002, the Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque strengthens communities and inspires giving. We are dedicated to improving the quality of life throughout Northeast Iowa by serving donors, making grants to local nonprofit organizations, and providing community leadership through convening and collaboration. Guided by the values of integrity, equity and inclusion, collaboration, excellence and innovation, we seek to ensure a vibrant and inclusive Greater Dubuque region with resources and opportunity for all.