The artist as philanthropist

CULTURE & SOCIETY

by THE OLBIOS TEAM

In the wake of the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina, in August 2005, representatives of the New York based Joan Mitchell Foundation reached out to the arts community in New Orleans in an effort to help. In September 2005, the foundation made its first emergency grants to artists who were adversely affected by Hurricane Katrina, and in the years since, it has provided more than $3 million in support to both individual artists and arts organizations in New Orleans. In the summer of 2010 the foundation made its first real-estate acquisition in New Orleans: a bed-and-breakfast in foreclosure on an acre and a half of land near the city center that was once part of a Creole plantation. It is now being transformed into an artists’ community.

The Joan Mitchell Foundation was established in 1993, a year after the artist’s death in Paris, and was formed with her stated goal of aiding painters and sculptors. The foundation also provides free art-education classes in New York City and, through a nomination process, awards grants to painters and sculptors as well as graduating M.F.A. students. It is one of a small but growing number of artist-endowed foundations that are becoming a powerful force in the world of cultural philanthropy. In addition to overseeing individual artists’ legacies by documenting and protecting their work, such foundations, through hands-on involvement with other artists and organizations, are discovering the best and most efficient ways to provide much-needed support at a time when traditional funding sources are shrinking.

Joan Mitchell Foundation_homepage

Web site: http://joanmitchellfoundation.org/

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