Ruth Ann Harnisch, Founder & President

Here’s where I sound off! Whether I’m sharing fresh insights or channeling
righteous rage, this is the place I’ll be pouring my heart out to you. Updated
fortnightly if not more frequently.

Ruth Ann Harnisch, Founder & President

Here’s where I sound off! Whether I’m sharing fresh insights or channeling
righteous rage, this is the place I’ll be pouring my heart out to you. Updated
fortnightly if not more frequently.

In 1998, when I founded the Harnisch Foundation, my intention was to be a good steward, leveraging money, skills, and connections to help make life a little better for others.
Ruth Ann Harnisch
In 1998, when I founded the Harnisch Foundation, my intention was to be a good steward, leveraging money, skills, and connections to help make life a little better for others.
Ruth Ann Harnisch

1 year ago

It’s Called Funny Girls, but Funny Isn’t The Focus

Note: It’s the Harnisch Foundation, but the Harnisches are outnumbered by the professionals who lead the daily operations and who take the mic today to tell you more about Funny Girls.

While funny things are bound to happen in our Funny Girls program, names can be misleading. We aren't running a comic boot camp or grooming the next stand-up star. We are boosting girls’ key leadership skills via improv an art form that allows the funny through the floodgates.

Unpredictable and bizarre situations emerge in improv, and scenes tap into the hilarity of our everyday lives. However, in improv, the goal is not to show up with a preplanned joke. It’s about being present in and responding to the moment while also drawing on the power of imagination and spontaneity (of course, in good taste or at least within some healthy limits)! As a result, the improv scene may take an unanticipated twist that subverts our expectations and captures the funny in the moment. Hello,  Benign Violation Theory we see you, and we know that you are behind the giggles.

So, yes, funny things are bound to happen in our leadership-through-improv program. But... it’s not about being funny. It’s equipping girls our future politicians, community leaders, and entrepreneurs  with leadership skills using the cloak of improv and, yes, a little humor.

Learn more about the Funny Girls program and the five core leadership skills taught. Also, I hope you join us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get regular updates on our work and that of our partners!


Recent Posts

Funny Girls on NBC Nightly News: How Girls Discover Their Leadership Skills Through Improv

The expansion of our Funny Girls program during the fall of 2017 brought new curiosity into how we elevate girls’ leadership skills through improv.

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Bye, 2017: Mmmm… Donuts.

Here at the Harnisch Foundation, it's been a big sweet doughnut of a year, filled with deliciousness, the goodness coming down the conveyor belt so fast we can hardly keep up.

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Improv + Leadership: A Powerful Pairing

A girls' leadership curriculum with a creative twist? YES. Read more about the powerful pairing of improv and leadership development.

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250 (Awesome) Grants and Counting!

Our special super power? Forwarding awesomeness in the world! And we've done it 250 times!

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See all Founder's Blog posts