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Historic Coltrane house scores $1M grant from Mellon Foundation

The foundation that oversees the John and Alice Coltrane Home in Dix Hills has been awarded a $1 million grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The multiyear grant to the Friends of the Coltrane Home will be used to support preservation of the home and to hire a full-time executive director to lead the project.

In 1964, jazz saxophone legend John Coltrane created his masterpiece, "A Love Supreme," in the home. Alice Coltrane, also a noted jazz musician, recorded her first five albums there, including "A Monastic Trio" recorded in 1968.

"We’re absolutely overjoyed at receiving these funds, which will be truly transformational for us," said Steve Fulgoni, president of the nonprofit Friends of the Coltrane Home that owns the house.

Fulgoni said that with the help of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the foundation prepared for 17 years creating business, master, architectural and landscape plans to be eligible to apply for the grant, which was awarded in September.

Ravi Coltrane, the couple’s son, started the application process this past spring with a presentation to the Mellon Foundation, Fulgoni said. Afterward, the nonprofit that owns the home was invited to submit a grant application and it was awarded close to what would have been John Coltrane’s 95th birthday on Sept. 23.

Fulgoni said $750,000 will go toward restoration of the home and $250,000 to support hiring an executive director over three years.

"This is not the total amount needed to open the home but it will certainly get us to a plateau where the home will be secure and stable," Fulgoni said.

This past summer, The Robert David Lion Gardiner Foundation awarded a $50,000 grant to the home through an affiliate of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The National Trust is a privately funded nonprofit organization that works to save America’s historic places. The National Trust has awarded the Coltrane home approximately $250,000 over the years and in 2018 designated it a national treasure.

According to its website, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is the nation’s largest supporter of the arts and humanities and through its grants seeks "to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive."

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