The Artist as Philanthropist: Strengthening the Next Generation of Artist-Endowed Foundations

A Reading Guide to the Study Report for Artists and Their Family Members

Cristine J. Vincent

2014, 19 pages, The Aspen Institute, One Dupont Circle NW, Ste 700, Washington, DC, 20036, 202-736-5800


   Artist as Philanthropist: Reading Guide (1.5Mb)

Prepared for artists and their family members interested in the topic of artist-endowed foundations, this publication is a reading guide to The Artist as Philanthropist: Strengthening the Next Generation of Artist-Endowed Foundations, the two-volume Study Report produced by the Aspen Institute National Study of Artist-Endowed Foundations. It is organized around questions often asked by artists about whether to create an artist-endowed foundation and provides references to the sections of the Study Report and its related materials, including Study Report Supplement 2013, that pertain to these questions. The publication's goal is to promote 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.

  • Volume 1 of this publication provides an overview of the emerging field, its origins, current status, trends, and prospects. It forecasts continued momentum in foundation creation, by artists themselves as well as by artists’ surviving spouses and other heirs and beneficiaries.
  • Volume 2 of the Study Report, a handbook on practice, offers artist-donors, their advisors, and foundation leaders a summary of considerations in forming, sustaining, and terminating these philanthropies, as well as planning and conducting their charitable programs. Briefing papers by scholars in the arts, philanthropy, and law address key issues in foundation practice; an annotated bibliography cites references in foundation formation, administration, and program management; and recommendations on practice and policy highlight opportunities to advance the young field.
  • Study Report Supplement 2013 presents updated findings of the Aspen Institute National Study of Artist-Endowed Foundations, reflecting the field's continued growth since release of the Study's initial findings based on 2005 data. Drawing on new data through 2010, Study Report Supplement 2013 details this growth, analyzes factors shaping it, and explores ramifications for foundation practice. Appendices list identified foundations and present data profiles of those reporting assets of at least $1 million. New briefing papers address rising topics that will influence the field's development and a descriptive survey summarizes estate planning literature as it pertains to visual artists.