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Arts Philanthropy Newsletter 

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artist: Millicent Tomkins, Valley of the Moon Music Festival 2015

The Arts of Philanthropy

Welcome to Our

Music Edition

Summer 2024

Greetings Music loving Friends,

Over the last two years we've delighted in shining light on acts of philanthropy emanating from creative sources. With this our 4th edition of the Arts of Philanthropy, we shift gears to focus on music, specifically on the giving behind musicians' training, performance opportunities and venues, that deepens and expands the ways that many of us experience music.

As always, we've just touched the tip of the iceberg. If you have stories to share of those who have benefitted from or offer music philanthropy, please let us know.

With Appreciation, Claudia and Catherine

Spotlight on 

Music Philanthropists

Adam Pendleton and Venus Williams

Photo Credit:Photography © BFA -Venus Williams co-hosting the Nina Simone Childhood Home Benefit Gala, Hosted by Pace Gallery in New York on May 20, 2023.

Photo Credit: Micaiah Carter for The New York Times in The Rising Art World Star Behind "Black Dada by Steven Kurutz,


When Conceptual Artist Adam Pendleton learned from an email in 2016 that the childhood home of musician and activist Nina Simone in Tryon, North Carolina was about to be sold and likely razed, he resolved to save it. Knowing that Simone’s childhood history would be lost forever if he didn’t act, he sprung into action. He contacted 3 like-minded artist friends, Julie Mehretu, Ellen Gallagher, and Rashid Johnson to form a four-person LLC that purchased the property for $95,000. With little more than the seed of an idea and not yet grasping the challenge they were embarking on, the four artists sensed the power of Nina Simone’s music and her example as a civil rights activist to inspire future generations of Americans, especially young artists and musicians. In May of 2023, aided by a partnership with the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund of the National Trust for Historic 

Preservation and the Pace Gallery, which represents Pendleton’s work, nearly $6 million was raised to preserve Simone’s legacy.

Tennis Star Venus Williams joined Pendleton to curate an online auction and to host a benefit gala held at Pace’s West 25th Street gallery in New York on May 20th, that brought in $12,500. The online auction, conducted by Sotheby’s two days later, featured 11 artworks selected by Williams and Pendleton, each donated by artists. The auction yielded a staggering $5.38 million in sales with paintings by Cecily Brown, Sara Sze and Julie Mehretu. These two events, with a few individual donations, brought the total of proceeds close to $6 million.

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