Donation News

Art Institute of Chicago Gets Largest Gift Ever

Great news from the Art Institute of Chicago: it has received the largest philanthropic gift in their history a few weeks ago!

According to the Chicago Tribune, a major private contemporary art collection with the value estimated at $400 million is being donated to the Art Institute of Chicago by local philanthropists Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson, in what the museum is calling the largest gift of art in its history. This is incredibly fortunate for the Art Institute, and will bring further recognition to the Art Institute and the entire city of Chicago.

Of the 42 total pieces, there are works from famous artists including Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, and many others spanning from 1953 to 2011. With 9 pieces from Andy Warhol, experts have claimed that it is one of the most significant collections of its kind in the entire world.

“It’s a powerful statement to have a collection of this international stature staying here in Chicago,” Robert Levy, chairman of the Art Institute’s board, told the Chicago Tribune. “It’s unbelievably exciting for the Art Institute, for the city of Chicago, for the entire art community of Chicago. It’s all good.”

The Art Institute will begin displaying the collection in its second-floor galleries of its Modern Wing beginning in January.

Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson boast a collection of 200 works that they keep in Aspen, Colorado. They are some of the top art collectors in the world, and great philanthropists as well.

At Philanthropic People, we thank these two philanthropists for their generosity!

What do you think of this wonderful donation to the Art Institute of Chicago? What is your favorite kind of art?

Donation News

StreetWise Partners Raises $275K at Annual Charity Poker Event

Founded in 1997, nonprofit organization StreetWise Partners works tirelessly to assist disadvantaged, low-income individuals by helping them realize their career potential, and provide them with the skills they need to empower themselves through work. The organization’s Board of Directors includes Chairman Anton Levy, a Managing Director at General Atlantic, Vice-Chairman Orlando Ashford of Holland America Line, and more than a dozen other philanthropic-minded individuals that are committed to supporting StreetWise Partners year after year.

Poker Chips

Based in New York City, StreetWise Partners provides mentorship programs, offers professional training facilities to its program participants, and continues to attract volunteers that want to make a difference in NYC and beyond. According to the organization, its primary objective is to “work with low-income individuals to help them overcome employment barriers so that they can break the cycle of poverty, obtain better jobs and achieve economic self-sufficiency.” The work that StreetWise Partners does is so important, and has changed the lives of nearly 2,600 job seekers and counting.

StreetWise Partners recently hosted its annual charity poker event, a gathering that attracted some of NYC’s biggest philanthropists and other special guests. This year’s fundraiser, dubbed “Raising the Ante” raised $275k that will go towards “Career Ventures” and other vital programming.

Brian Korb, a StreetWise Partners Board member and Raising the Ante co-chair commented, “Proceeds from this event will make a huge impact on so many more lives,” adding that “StreetWise Partners’ Career Ventures Program matches low-income trainees with some of the area’s best and brightest business professionals.”

“I always embrace the opportunity to help raise money for people less fortunate than myself but rarely do I have the chance to have so much fun doing it,” said Emmy award-winning writer J.R. Havlan of the philanthropic event. Havlan also commented that StreetWise Partners is a “compassionate, thoughtful and brilliantly run organization,” a sentiment that he and many other fundraiser attendees share.

Other guests at the 2015 poker charity event included John Sabat of Cubist Systematic Strategies, Tony Snow, Jonathan Caruso, as well as special guests NY Knicks Legend John Starks, NY Rangers great Alex Kovalev, and former NY Giants player Thomas Randolph, among others. Learn more about who was in attendance of this year’s poker charity event in this press release from StreetWise Partners.

Donation News

Lincoln Center Receives Significant Donation

David Geffen, entertainment industry mogul and cofounder of DreamWorks animation, has made a sizable donation to the Lincoln Center in New York City. Geffen will donate $100 million to the Lincoln Center.

Geffen is in good company, as a group of highly successful and philanthropic individuals oversee the Lincoln Center as well; among the board of directors are William E. Ford, the CEO of General Atlantic, Robert A. Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company, and Shelly Lazarus CEO of Ogilvy & Mather, among many others.Lincoln Center chairwoman Katherine Farley announced on March 4 that the Avery Fisher Hall will be renamed the David Geffen Hall in September. Renovations to the hall will begin in 2019.

Lincoln Center chairwoman Katherine Farley announced on March 4th that the Avery Fisher Hall will be renamed the David Geffen Hall in September. Renovations to the hall will begin in 2019.

Lincoln Center


“As a native New Yorker, I recognize that Lincoln Center is a beacon to artists and musicians around the world,” Geffen said in a statement. “To be involved with such a beloved and iconic institution is deeply satisfying.”

In addition to David Geffen hall, there is also the Geffen Playhouse and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, all of which are named in honor of the generous philanthropist. Geffen isn’t a stranger to making large donations. In fact, the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA came at the price of $200 million.

The hall was originally named after Avery Fisher, a violinist and founder of the Fisher Radio Company, after he financed a renovation to the hall in 1973. Fisher died in 1994, though an agreement guarantees that the renovated building will still feature prominent tributes to Fisher and his family, chiefly his three children, will remain involved in the concert hall.

About the Lincoln Center

The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts is a 16.3-acre complex in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Manhattan. The center has 30 indoor and outdoor performance venues. The Lincoln Center is home to the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the Juilliard School, and many others.