Thanks to a gift from an anonymous donor, the Carnegie Corporation of New York has awarded $10 million to 137 arts and cultural organizations in New York’s five boroughs. Ranging in amount from $25,000 to $100,000, the awards are intended to “contribute to the vibrant intellectual, cultural, and arts life of the city.” The unnamed donor gave the gift to the corporation to be used at the discretion of the organization’s president, Vartan Gregorian, to aid New York City cultural institutions struggling in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.
Organizations receiving grants range from small groups and performance spaces, such as the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, to large organizations like the Brooklyn Philharmonic and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. The American Music Center received $100,000.
“This city of immigrants has always been a mecca for those who love the imagination and the power of man to create,” noted Gregorian when announcing the award. “Our donor understands the greatness of this city and the centrality of its cultural institutions.”
Before distributing the funds, the Carnegie Corporation reviewed recent contributions to the city’s institutions by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. According to the corporation, the decision was made to concentrate on struggling organizations, especially those affected by recent events, and to try to create a balance between the boroughs, supporting institutions which play an essential artistic and educational role in their communities.
“We have spent the past six weeks consulting broadly and widely in order to choose medium and small-sized organizations that serve the public through dance, theatre, music, poetry, and photography and institutions that advance historic and scientific understanding,” Gregorian explains. “We wanted to find organizations that reach this great city’s citizens in their neighborhoods and reflect the diversity of our cultures, roots, interests, and arts.”
The Carnegie Corporation of New York was created in 1911 by Andrew Carnegie to promote “the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding.” Gregorian says that this gift shares in that philosophy. “Carnegie’s philanthropic endeavors challenged those who found success in their business life to discover the power and satisfaction of sharing their wealth. The anonymous donor shares Mr. Carnegie’s faith in philanthropy and its important role in society. We hope that today’s announcement might challenge other modern men and women to make contributions to this city as it rebuilds.”
A complete list of grant recipients is available at the Carnegie Corporation Web site at www.carnegie.org.