2021 Seminar on Strategy for Artist-Endowed Foundation Leaders

Event information
Tue Apr 6, 2021 - Tue Jun 22, 2021
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Weekly on Tuesdays, April 6 – June 22, 2021
1:00 to 5:15 PM EST


The Seminar on Strategy for Artist-Endowed Foundation Leaders supports the professional development of individuals who currently have, or will have, policy-setting and leadership responsibilities for Artist-Endowed Foundations—directors, officers, trustees, board members, senior staff—as well as those supporting an artist’s long-term stewardship planning efforts with respect to a potential foundation.

Presented biennially by the Aspen Institute Artist-Endowed Foundations Initiative (AEFI), the Seminar educates leaders about the characteristics of these distinctive charitable organizations, including foundations’ complex business models, diverse philanthropic practices, influential art historical roles, and manifold governance and management requirements.

The Seminar is based on findings of AEFI’s National Study of Artist-Endowed Foundations and subsequent research publications, which are viewable at It focuses specifically on the strategic concerns of leaders orienting themselves to the field. Site visits and conversations with seasoned foundation directors are central to the curriculum, which is presented by a distinguished faculty composed of scholars, experts, and AEF leaders.

Opening Reception: Monday, April 5 – 5:00 to 6:30 PM EST
Course Sessions: Weekly on Tuesdays, April 6 – June 22, 2021, 1:00 to 5:15 PM EST
Closing Celebration: Tuesday, June 22 – 5:00 to 6:30 PM EST

Location: Online, hosted virtually by The Easton Foundation/Louise Bourgeoise Archive, The Keith Haring Foundation, The Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, Joan Mitchell Foundation, and The Gordon Parks Foundation.

Who Should Consider Applying to Participate in the Seminar:
-Individuals who, within the past three years, have assumed leadership responsibilities for an Artist-Endowed Foundation—directors, officers, trustees, board members, senior staff;
-Individuals designated to assume foundation leadership roles in the future, for example upon the artist’s death, including artists’ family members and professional associates; and
-Individuals supporting an artist’s stewardship planning effort with respect to a potential foundation.

What Participants will Take Away From the Course:
-Comprehensive understanding of the AEF form and the considerations that shape its philanthropic and cultural role in both principle and practice;
-Knowledge and tools necessary to shape and advance your organization’s stewardship mission;
-Supportive cadre of colleagues who share your concerns as well as a national network of established AEF leaders, scholars, and experts with whom to confer and exchange;
-Facilitated match with a potential mentor from among the field’s established AEF leaders who would be able to provide experience-based insights relevant to your particular interests; and
-Eligibility to attend AEFI’s associated, invitation-only events, such as the biennial AEF Leadership Forum.

Curriculum Topics:*
Legacy Stewardship and Artist-Endowed Foundations
-Foundation Basics
-Public Benefit
-Fiduciary Duties
-Self-Dealing Risks

Organizational Viability
-Starting Up/Reorganizing
-Art Market Strategy
-Business Model

Cultural Asset Stewardship
-Art Collections
-Oeuvre Scholarship
-Intellectual Property

Philanthropic Impact
-Support to Individuals
-Museum Gifts/Sales
-Educational Programs

Foundation Operations
-Professional Advisors
-Risk Management
-Digital Engagement
-Foundation Planning

Crosscutting Conversations:*
-Family & Foundation
-Long-term Stewardship Planning
-Oeuvre Management
-Foundation Termination
-Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

* Subject to Change

Application: By online submission, deadline March 2, 2021. Participant selection determined by Seminar Admissions Committee. Notification of acceptance March 9, 2021.

Application Contents: Applicant’s letter outlining motivation to apply; applicant’s cv; two letters of reference; foundation documentation – all submitted online with the Seminar online application form, including agreement to comply with Seminar Eligibility and Application Guidelines and Seminar Participant Guidelines.

Application Timeline: Key dates in the Seminar application process are as follows:
March 2 – Application Deadline
March 9 – Acceptance Notification
March 16 – Tuition Payment Deadline
April 5 – Opening Reception

Tuition: $3,750 USD, payable upon notification of acceptance and no later than March 16. (Note: This 20% adjustment reflects a reduction in costs enabled by online delivery.)

Completion Certificate: Conferred by the Aspen Institute Artist-Endowed Foundations Initiative/AEFI.

Seminar Refund Policy: No tuition refunds will be made. In the case of an inability to participate, with prior approval by AEFI, tuition may be applied to participation in the subsequent, biennial Seminar if the individual remains in a foundation leadership position at that time.

Registration for the 2021 Seminar is now closed. For information about future Seminars, please contact [email protected]

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