End-of-Year Message from AEFI

December 16, 2016

To the Artist-Endowed Foundation Community and its Friends:

As you prepare for the New Year, please pencil these 2017 AEFI dates into your calendar and keep an eye out for further details:

May 1st through 5th — 2017 Seminar on Strategy for Artist-Endowed Foundation Leaders, a week-long, open-application, professional development program designed specifically to help foundation executives and board members prepare for new and evolving leadership roles.

The week of November 6th — 2017 Artist-Endowed Foundation Leadership Forum, a one-day, invitational symposium connecting the field’s senior foundation leaders to share knowledge, foster collegial exchange, and increase their organizations’ charitable impact.

Fall 2017 — Study Report Supplement Update 2017, a new research publication from the National Study of Artist-Endowed Foundations, offering a fresh look at the artist-endowed foundation field and the practical concerns, growth trends, and policy issues shaping its evolution and charitable impact.

Date TBC – Issues in Advising Artists and Their Private Foundations, a new Continuing Legal Education (CLE) program offered in response to interest from the legal community serving the artist-endowed foundation field. Stay tuned.

2016 Highlights:

The Aspen Institute Artist-Endowed Foundations Initiative/AEFI is wrapping up its first year as an ongoing initiative of the Institute’s Philanthropy & Social Innovation Program. Likewise, this has been the first year of AEFI’s collaboration with our academic partner, University of Miami School of Law, through the leadership of Professor Stephen K. Urice, AEFI Academic Advisor and Co-Director of the Seminar and Forum. Highlights of the year include:

  • A cohort of 24 foundation leaders participated in the inaugural session of the week-long Seminar on Strategy, June 6-10, hosted by the Joan Mitchell, Helen Frankenthaler, Dedalus, and Roy Lichtenstein Foundations and The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum.
  • A group of 89 foundation leaders from across the U.S. and abroad convened for the second AEF Leadership Forum, November 7, presented by the Hoffman Forum in collaboration with University of Miami School of Law, and hosted by The Morgan Library and Museum.
  • Generating more than 6,000 unique page views of our webpage this year, many individuals who are exploring the idea of creating an artist-endowed foundation, or are becoming involved as new staff or board members, used AEFI’s publication resources, accessed free at www.aspeninstitute.org/aefi.

Thank You!

This year’s success was made possible by the many foundation leaders who participated in and contributed to AEFI’s leadership programs, and who utilized and informed its research and publications.

AEFI is sustained by the AEFI Lead Underwriters — ARIS Title Insurance, DeWitt Stern, and U.S. Trust — who provide core operating support to AEFI and collaborate in developing and disseminating educational information to assist the artist-endowed foundation field.

The National Study of Artist-Endowed Foundations, AEFI’s flagship research project, is funded by the AEFI Donor Consortium, led by the Pollock-Krasner, Roy Lichtenstein, and Andy Warhol Foundations. Philanthropic grants by consortium members help develop this critical knowledge resource and offer it at no cost as a public benefit to anyone — artists, advisors, foundation staff and board members, scholars, educators, students, the public — eager to know more about effective practices in the creation, operation, and governance of artist-endowed foundations.

Our leadership programs are supported by the AEFI Presenting Partners, including the Hoffman Forum, presenter of the annual AEF Leadership Forum. Our Forum Hosts–in 2016, The Morgan Library & Museum and in 2015, The Museum of Modern Art–provide the important cultural setting for these events, as do the Seminar Hosts, listed above. AEFI Event Sponsors, which in 2016 included panOpticon and the ADAA Foundation, help fund the valuable collegial exchange dimensions of the leadership programs.

Lastly, AEFI’s programs and aspirations are informed by the wise perspectives of our AEFI Advisors, led by Honorary Chair Charles C. Bergman, Chairman & CEO of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation.

On behalf of my Aspen Institute colleagues and our University of Miami School of Law partners, thank you for your encouragement and support of AEFI’s mission to help the next generation of artist-endowed foundations make the most of their artists’ generosity.

Warm wishes for peace in the New Year.


Christine J. Vincent
Project Director
Aspen Institute Artist-Endowed Foundations Initiative/AEFI


One Dupont Circle NW, Suite 700, Washington DC, 20036-113