Aspen Institute Releases Publications About Artist-Endowed Foundations in the US

November 18, 2013

For Immediate Release  

Contact Tracey Rutnik
Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation
(202) 736-2501 

Aspen Institute Releases Publications About Artist-Endowed Foundations in the US
Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation Report Available Online

Washington, DC, November 18, 2013—The Aspen Institute’s Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation (PSI) has released two new publications from its National Study of Artist-Endowed Foundations, the first research effort to focus on private foundations created in the US by visual artists. Study Report Supplement 2013 updates initial findings on this distinctive charitable form first presented in the groundbreaking, two-volume Study Report, The Artist as Philanthropist: Strengthening the Next Generation of Artist-Endowed Foundations, issued in 2010. A Reading Guide to the Study Report for Artists and Their Family Members is designed to facilitate use of the Study Report by artists who are exploring creation of a foundation, as well as by family members who themselves are considering that step after an artist’s death.

New research findings – Drawing on the most recent available data, Study Report Supplement 2013 details the field’s growth from 2005 to 2010. Among highlights: artist-endowed foundations reported 2010 assets of $3.48 billion (up 44 percent), including $1.99 billion in art assets (up 83 percent). Charitable disbursements increased almost 60 percent, rising to $131.83 million in 2010, comprising $69.99 million in grants and $61.83 million in charitable administrative costs, including for direct operations of exhibition programs, study centers, artists’ residencies, art education classes, and the like. The field’s grantmaking interest is squarely on the arts, representing 84 percent of its giving. Although only a small portion of all private foundations in the US, by virtue of their focus and activities, artist-endowed foundations are poised to be a force shaping cultural philanthropy and stewarding the country’s contemporary art patrimony.

Information for artists – A Reading Guide to the Study Report for Artists and Their Family Members is organized around questions artists often ask about artist-endowed foundations and points to the sections of the Study Report that pertain to these topics. The guide promotes better understanding as to whether a foundation is an appropriate choice for an artist and, if so, how to plan for a foundation that will be successful in fulfilling its charitable purpose.

The mission of the National Study of Artist-Endowed Foundations is to help the next generation of artist-endowed foundations make the most of its donors’ generosity in service to a charitable purpose. Its aim is to fill the significant information gap facing those individuals creating and leading new artist-endowed foundations. The Study is led by Christine J. Vincent, former Ford Foundation deputy director for Media, Arts and Culture, and supported by a 30-member donor consortium, including the Ford Foundation, New York Community Trust, and Rockefeller Brothers Fund, as well as the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

The Aspen Institute Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation (PSI) seeks to inform and maximize the impact of grantmaking foundations, nonprofit organizations, social enterprises, and public-private partnerships through leadership development initiatives, convenings, and communications so that each can contribute to the good society at home and abroad. 

 The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit 


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