NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund Issued Over $110 Million in Emergency Funds to 768 New York City-Based Nonprofits

768 Critical Arts and Social Service Nonprofits Across the 5 Boroughs Received Support to Weather Onset of Pandemic

NEW YORK, NY – July 29, 2020 – The NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund announced that more than $110 million in emergency support has been distributed to 768 New York City-based social services and arts and cultural nonprofits affected by the coronavirus public health crisis. More than $73 million in grant funding was managed by the New York Community Trust and over $37 million was managed by Nonprofit Finance Fund for no-interest loans. Small to mid-sized nonprofits across New York’s five boroughs applied for grants or interest-free loans to ensure the continuity of their daily operations and to help counteract lost revenue that challenged their ability to pay rent, make payroll or fulfill their public service missions.

In total, the NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund provided relief including:

Over $110 million raised for grants and zero-interest loans
$73,098,950 awarded in grants to 754 nonprofits
Grants range from $5,000 to $250,000
374 social service and health nonprofits received grants 
380 arts and culture nonprofits received grants 
$37,005,000 is being awarded in loans to at least 43 nonprofits (*$35,490,000 in loans has been issued to date; the remaining loan funds will be allocated in August 2020)
Loans range from $100,000 to $3,000,000
33 social service and health nonprofits received loans
10 arts and culture nonprofits received loans 

The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund was a founding member, along with the New York Community Trust, the Ford Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Joan Ganz Cooney & Holly Peterson Fund, Kenneth C. Griffin Charitable Fund, The JPB Foundation, The Estée Lauder Companies Charitable Foundation, Jennifer and Jonathan Allan Soros, Jon Stryker and Slobodan Randjelović, Charles H. Revson Foundation, Robin Hood, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, UJA-Federation of New York, and Wells Fargo Foundation.

The NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund was created in early March, as the urgency and scale of the needs accelerated, and immediately mobilized funders who contributed an initial total of $75 million.  An advisory committee of leaders in public health, community development, and the arts helped guide the efforts. Nonprofits submitted proposals online to the New York Community Trust (NYCT), which is administering the fund and also was a donor to the effort.  NYCT oversaw the grants while concurrently Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) is administering the interest-free loans as well as providing additional resources to organizations receiving loans through this initiative.

Additional donors, including foundations, corporations and individuals, joined the effort, increasing the initial $75 million to a total of $110 million.

More than 1,600 nonprofit organizations submitted proposals.

In human services, priority was given to direct service providers, such as those supporting essential healthcare, housing, and food insecurity.

In the arts and cultural sector, the fund provided support to organizations that are community anchors, providing employment as well as creative content and enrichment for young people, adults, and families.

“As we have learned from crises in the past, the way to address this challenge is to work together, said Lorie Slutsky, President of the New York Community Trust. “The Trust has been honored to have been a part of this wonderful collaboration, which has been an inspiration and a financial lifeline for hundreds of New York’s nonprofits and the people they serve.”

“We’re proud that the Fund’s rapid, coordinated deployment of emergency funding helped keep the doors open at nonprofits as the COVID-19 crisis hit,” said Antony Bugg-Levine, CEO of Nonprofit Finance Fund. “New York’s nonprofits are committed, creative, and responsive, and poised to drive equitable recovery in our communities if they can access continued financial backing.”

While the NYC COVID-19 Response & Impact Fund is concluding its work, both The Trust and NFF continue to address the needs of New York City nonprofits moving forward, by providing additional funding and free planning and budgeting resources.

This initiative provided grants and no-interest loans for needs including:

Flexible funding to support new and emergency needs and meet community demands, particularly for service offerings outside normal operations required to respond to social distancing, isolation and quarantine.

Technology to support remote work and services – laptops and remote calling capacity (e.g. Zoom) for staff.

Temporary staff support to cover for shortages due to employees becoming ill, having to quarantine, or stay home to care for family members or children during school closures.

Equipment and supplies such as masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, and cleaning supplies.

Additional cleaning services to augment in-house operations.

Support to aid the loss of operational revenue from facility closings, cancelled programs, events, and other disruptions.

To learn more about the unique stories of the organizations supported by the Fund, check out the videos below.

A full list of the Fund grantees is below and available here, and loan recipients are available through the links provided.


52nd Street Project
651 ARTS
A Better Jamaica
A Blade of Grass Fund
AABR (formerly Association for the Advancement of Blind and Retarded)
Acts Community Development Corporation
Adhikaar for Human Rights and Social Justice
Adult Resources Center
Advance Care Alliance of NY, Inc
African Film Festival
African Refuge
African Services Committee
Afro-Latin Jazz Alliance of NY
After Hours Project
AIDS Service Center of Lower Manhattan
Alarm Will Sound
Ali Forney Center
Alice Austen House
Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York
Amas Musical Theatre
American Composers Orchestra
American Folk Art Museum
American Tap Dance Foundation
Ansonia Music Outreach Organization
Anthology Film Archives
Apicha Community Health Center
Apollo Theater Foundation
Arab American Association of New York
Arab-American Family Support Center
Argus Community
Ars Nova
Art Lab
Artists Space
Artopolis Development
Arts for Art
Ascend Learning
Asian American Arts Alliance
Asian American Federation
Asian American Writers’ Workshop
Asian Americans for Equality
Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development
Association of Community Employment Programs for the Homeless
Association of the Bar of the City of New York Fund
Association to Benefit Children
Astoria Performing Arts Center
Atlantic Theater Company
Auditory Oral School of New York
Ballet Hispanico
Banana Kelly Community Improvement Association
Bang On A Can
Bangladeshi American Community Development and Youth Services
Bartow Pell Conservancy
Baryshnikov Arts Center
Beam Center
Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation
Betances Health Center
Beth Morrison Projects
Bethel Hamliri
Billie Holiday Theatre
Black Spectrum Theatre Company
Bloomingdale School of Music
Bohemian Brethren Presbyterian Church
BOMB Magazine
Boro Park Y
Boundless Theatre Company Inc.
Bowery Residents Committee
Bowne House Historical Society
Boys and Girls Club of Metro Queens
Braata Productions
Breaking Ground
Breakthrough New York
BRIC Arts/Media/Bklyn
Bridge Fund of New York
Bridging Access to Care
Bridging Education & Art Together
Broadway Community
Broadway Housing Communities
Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance
Bronx Children’s Museum
Bronx Council on the Arts
Bronx County Historical Society
Bronx Documentary Center
Bronx House
Bronx Museum of the Arts
Brooklyn Arts Council
Brooklyn Arts Exchange
Brooklyn Ballet
Brooklyn Book Festival
Brooklyn Botanic Garden Corporation
Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy
Brooklyn Children’s Museum
Brooklyn Community Bail Fund
Brooklyn Community Housing & Services
Brooklyn Conservatory of Music
Brooklyn Defender Services
Brooklyn Historical Society
Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A
Brooklyn Movement Center
Brooklyn Music School
Brooklyn Rail
Brooklyn Rescue Mission
Brooklyn Youth Chorus Academy
Brooklyn Youth Music Project
Buglisi Dance Theatre
Builders Association
Building Beats
Bushwick Starr
CAAAV (Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence
Cabrini Immigrant Services of NYC
CABS Home Attendants Service
Callen-Lorde Community Health Center
Calpulli Mexican Dance Company
Camille A. Brown & Dancers
Cardinal McCloskey Community Services
Care for the Homeless
Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute
Casa Belvedere, The Italian Cultural Foundation
Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education
Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine
Catholic Guardian Services
Center for Alternative Sentencing and Employment Services (CASES)
Center for Anti-Violence Education
Center for Book Arts
Center for Comprehensive Health Practice
Center for Educational Innovation
Center for Employment Opportunities
Center for Hearing and Communication
Center for Jewish History
Center for Performance Research
Center for the Holographic Arts
Center for Traditional Music and Dance
Center for Urban Community Services
Central Family Life Center
Chamber Music America
Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center
Cherry Lane Theatre
Child Center of New York
Children’s Aid
Children’s Health Fund
Children’s Museum of Manhattan
Children’s Museum of the Arts
Chinatown Manpower Project
Chinese Theater Works
Chinese-American Planning Council
Chocolate Factory Theater
Church of the Holy Apostles
City Lore
City Parks Foundation
Classic Stage Company
Classical Theatre of Harlem
Clubbed Thumb
CO/LAB Theater Group
Coalition for the Homeless
Coalition on Positive Health Empowerment
Colonial Farmhouse Restoration Society of Bellerose
Community Access
Community Connections for Youth
Community Counseling & Mediation
Community League of the Heights (CLOTH)
Community Mediation Services
Community Options New York
Community Solutions International
Community Voices Heard
Community-Word Project
Comprehensive Development
Concern for Independent Living
Concerts in Motion
Coney Island Anti Violence Collaborative
Coney Island USA
Consortium for Worker Education
Cool Culture
Cora Incorporated
Correctional Association of New York
Council of Peoples Organization
Counseling in Schools
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA)
Creative Capital
Creative Time
Crown Heights Youth Collective, Inc
Culture for One
Cumbe: Center for African and Diaspora Dance
Cypress Hills Child Care Corporation
Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation
Damayan Migrant Workers Association
Dance Entropy
Dance Theatre of Harlem
Dances For A Variable Population
Dancing Classrooms
Dancing in the Streets
Danspace Project
Day One
Dia Art Foundation
Diaspora Community Services
Dieu Donné Paper Mill
Directions For Our Youth
Dorrance Dance
Doug Varone and Dancers
Drama Club Inc
DreamYard Project
Dyckman Farmhouse Museum Alliance
East Harlem Tutorial Program
East Side House Settlement
Education Through Music
Educational Alliance
Educational Video Center
El Museo del Barrio
El Puente De Williamsburg
Elevator Repair Service Theater
Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts
Elmy’s Special Services, Inc
En Foco
Encore Community Services
Engagewell IPA
EPIC Players Inc.
Exalt Youth
Exodus Transitional Community
Family Center
FDNY Foundation
Federation of Organizations
Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies
Fifth Avenue Committee
Film Forum
Filomen M. D’Agostino Greenberg Music School
Fiorello H. LaGuardia Community College Auxiliary Enterprise Corp.
Firelight Media
Fist and Heel Performance Group
Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana
Flatbush Development Corporation
Floating Hospital
Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts
Flux Factory
Food Bank for New York City
Fortune Society
Fostering Change for Children, LTD
Foundation for New York’s Strongest
Fountain House
Fourth Arts Block
Fractured Atlas
Fresh Youth Initiatives
Friends of Hudson River Park
Friends of Island Academy
Friends of the High Line
Friends of the New York Transit Museum
Friends of Wheels
Fund for Public Health in New York
Gallim Dance Company
Gay Men’s Health Crisis
Getting Out and Staying Out
Ghetto Film School
Girl Be Heard Institute
Girls Educational & Mentoring Services
Girls Write Now
Global Kids
God’s Love We Deliver
Goddard Riverside Community Center
Good Shepherd Services
Graham Windham
Grand Street Settlement
Grandma’s Love Inc.
Greenbelt Conservancy
Greenwich House
Green-Wood Historic Fund
Haitian Centers Council
Harlem Needle Arts
Harlem Stage
Harlem United Community AIDS Center
Harmony Program
Health People
HeartShare Human Services of New York
HeartShare St. Vincent’s Services
Hebrew Education Society
Hebrew Home for the Aged
Helen Keller Services
HELP Social Service Corporation
Henry Street Settlement
Hester Street Collaborative
Hispanic Federation
Historic House Trust of New York City
Hook Arts Media
Hot Bread Kitchen
Hour Children
Housing + Solutions
Housing Conservation Coordinators
Housing Works Health Services III
Hudson Guild
Hunger Free America
Hunts Point Alliance for Children
ID Studio Theater Performance and Research Center
Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy
Imani House
Immigration Equality
IMPACCT Brooklyn
India Home
Instituto Arte Teatral Internacional
International Center for the Disabled
International Center of Photography
International Contemporary Ensemble
International Print Center New York, Inc
International Rescue Committee
International Studio and Curatorial Program
Internationals Network for Public Schools
Irondale Productions
IRT Theater
Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum
Issue Project Room
Jack Arts
Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement
Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art
Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning
Japan Society
Jazz Foundation of America
Jericho Project
Jewish Association for Services for the Aged (JASA)
Jewish Child Care Association of New York
Jewish Community Center in Manhattan
Jewish Community Center of Staten Island
Jewish Community Council of the Rockaway Peninsula
Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst
Job Path
Kaufman Music Center
Keen Theatre Company
Kentler International Drawing Space
King Manor Museum
Kings Bay YM-YWHA
Kingsbridge Heights Community Center
KIPP New York Inc.
Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York
Kyle Abraham/Abraham.In.Motion
L’Refuah Medical & Rehabilitation Center
La Casa de la Herencia Cultural Puertorriquena
La Casa de Salud
La Mama Experimental Theatre Club
Lambda Literary
Lark Theatre Company
Latin American Theater Experiment and Associates
Latksy Dance Inc
Lawyers Alliance for New York
Learning Through an Expanded Arts Program
Legal Action Center
Legal Information for Families Today
Lenox Hill Neighborhood House
Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center
Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art
Lewis Howard Latimer Fund
Life of Hope
Lifestyles for the Disabled
Little Flower Children and Family Services
Little Orchestra Society/Orpheon
Live Source Inc.
LiveOn NY
Louis Armstrong House Museum
Lower East Side Tenement Museum
Lower Eastside Girls Club of New York
Lower Manhattan Cultural Council
LSA Family Health Service
Lubovitch Dance Foundation
Lutheran Social Services of New York
Mabou Mines Development Foundation
Madison Square Boys and Girls Club
Madison Square Park Conservancy
Magic Box Productions
Main Street Theatre and Dance Alliance
Make the Road New York
Manhattan Class Company
Manna of Life Ministries
Mark Morris Dance Group
Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance
Mary Mitchell Family and Youth Center
Ma-Yi Theater Company
Maysles Institute
Mekong NYC
Mercy Center
Metropolis Ensemble
Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty
Mid-Bronx Senior Citizens Council
Mind-Builders Creative Arts Center
Mobilization for Justice
Monica Bill Barnes and Company
Montefiore Medical Center
Morris-Jumel Mansion
Mosholu Montefiore Community Center
Mount Sinai Hospital
Movement Research
Museum at Eldridge Street
Museum of Arts and Design
Museum of Chinese in America
Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA)
Museum of Food and Drink
Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust
Museum of the City of New York
Museum of the Moving Image
Music Forward
Music on the Inside
Muslim Community Network
National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City (NAMI)
National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS
National Black Theatre Workshop
National Center for Law and Economic Justice
National Center on Addiction & Substance Abuse
National Dance Institute
National Education Equity Lab
National Jazz Museum in Harlem
National Museum of Mathematics
National Sawdust
Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter
Neighborhood Housing Services of Queens
Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners
Network Support Services
New Alternatives for Children
New Dramatists
New Immigrant Community Empowerment
New Ohio Theatre
New Settlement Apartments
New Visions for Public Schools
New York Academy of Medicine
New York African Chorus Ensemble Inc.
New York Cares
New York City Anti-Violence Project
New York City Children’s Theater
New York City Fire Museum
New York City Mission Society
New York City Players Inc
New York City Relief
New York Classical Theatre
New York Common Pantry
New York Congregational Nursing Center
New York Council for the Humanities
New York Foundation for the Arts
New York Foundling Hospital
New York Hall of Science
New York Immigration Coalition
New York International Children’s Film Festival
New York Live Arts
New York Stage and Film Company
New York Theatre Workshop
New York Women in Film & Television
New York Youth Symphony
New Yorkers for Children
No Longer Empty, Inc
Noble Maritime Collection
Noel Pointer Foundation
Noor Theatre
Northeast Brooklyn Housing Development Corporation
Northfield Community Local Development Corporation of Staten Island
Northside Center for Child Development
Nuyorican Poets Cafe
NYC First
Ocean Bay Community Development Corporation
Ohel Children’s Home and Family Services
One Hundred Black Men
Only Make Believe
Opening Act
Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow
Orchestra of St. Luke’s
P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center
Page 73 Productions
PAGNY Health and Research Foundation
Pan Asian Repertory Theatre
Parsons Dance Foundation
Part of the Solution
Partnership for the Homeless
Partnership with Children
Paul Taylor Dance Foundation
PEN America
People’s Theatre Project
Per Scholas
Performance Space 122
Person Centered Care Services
Pesach Tikvah-Hope Development
Phipps Neighborhoods
Phoenix House of New York
Phoenix Theater Ensemble
Ping Chong & Company
Playwrights Horizons
Playwrights Realm
Poetry Society of America
Poets House
Power of Two
Pregones Puerto Rican Traveling Theater
Premium Health
Presbyterian Senior Services
Pride Center of Staten Island
Primary Stages Company
Pro Bono Net
Project Basta
Project FIND
Project Hospitality
Project Renewal
Prospect Park Alliance
Providence House
Public Art Fund
Puerto Rican Family Institute
Queens Botanical Garden
Queens College Foundation
Queens Community House
Queens Council on the Arts
Queens Library Foundation
Queens Museum
Queens Theatre
Raga Massive
Ramapo for Children
Rattlestick Playwrights Theater
Rebuilding Together NYC
Recess Activities
Red Bull Theater
Red Hook Initiative
Reel Works
Repertorio Espanol
Research Foundation of the City University of New York
Residency Unlimited
Rising Ground
River Fund New York
Riverstone Senior Life Services
Roads to Success
Rockaway Waterfront Alliance
Rockaway Youth Task Force
Rod Rodgers Dance Company
Rosie’s Theater Kids
Roulette Intermedium
Row New York
Rubin Museum of Art
Ryan Chelsea-Clinton Community Health
Sadie Nash Leadership Project
Safe Horizon
Safe Passage Project
Sakhi for South Asian Women
Samaritan Village
Samuel Field YM & YWHA
Sanctuary for Families
Sapna NYC
SCAN-New York Volunteer Parent-Aides Association
Seamen’s Society for Children & Families
Search and Care
Second Stage Theatre
Selfhelp Community Services
Service Program for Older People
Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)
Services for the Underserved
Seven Stories Institute
Shalom Task Force
SHARE: Self-Help for Women with Breast or Ovarian Cancer
Sheltering Arms Children and Family Services
Shield of David
Signature Theatre Company
Single Stop USA
Smack Mellon Studios
Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden
So Percussion
Society of the Educational Arts
Socrates Sculpture Park
Soho Repertory Theatre
South Asian Council for Social Services
South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (SoBRO)
South Street Seaport Museum
Southside United Housing Development Fund Corporation (Los Sures)
St. Ann’s Corner of Harm Reduction
St. Ann’s Warehouse
St. Dominic’s Family Services
St. George Theatre Restoration
St. John’s Bread & Life Program
St. Mary’s Center
St. Nicks Alliance
Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center
Staten Island Arts
Staten Island Children’s Museum
Staten Island Historical Society
Staten Island Museum
Staten Island Performing Provider System
Staten Island Shakespearean Theatre Company
STEM from Dance
Stephen Petronio Dance Company
Street Lab
Student Leadership Network
Studio in a School Association
Studio Museum in Harlem
Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling
Sundog Theatre
Sunnyside Community Services Inc.
Sunnyside District Management
Symphony Space
TADA! Theatre and Dance Alliance
Target Margin Theater
Teach for America
Teaching Matters
Team First
Teatro Círculo, Ltd.
Tectonic Theater Project
The Audre Lorde Project
The Broadway Dance Lab
The Brooklyn Steppers
The Brotherhood/Sister Sol
The Campaign Against Hunger
The Civilians
The Coalition for Behavioral Health
The Door
The Drawing Center
The Ensemble Studio Theatre
The Field
The Flea Theater
The Harlem School of the Arts
The House Foundation for the Arts
The Jazz Drama Program
The Jazz Gallery
The Jewish Board
The Jose Limon Dance Foundation
The Joyce Theater Foundation
The Kitchen
The Korean American Family Service Center Inc.
The Labor Institute
The Liberty Fund
The New 42nd Street
The New Horizon Counseling Center
The New Jewish Home
The New Museum of Contemporary Art
The New York Center for Children
The New York Chinese Cultural Center
The Osborne Association
THE POINT Community Development Corporation
The Possibility Project
The Tank
Theater Breaking Through Barriers
Theater Labrador
Theater Mitu Inc.
Theatre Communications Group
Theatre Development Fund
Theatre for a New Audience
Theatre Lab Inc
Theatre of the Oppressed NYC
Third Street Music School Settlement
Third World Newsreel
Tolentine Zeiser Community Life Center
Tomorrow’s Leaders NYC
Transitional Services for New York
Translatina Network
Trevor Project
Triangle Arts Association
Tribeca Film Institute
Trinity Community Connection
Trinity Human Services Corporation
Trinity’s Services and Food for the Homeless
Trisha Brown Company
Trusty Sidekick Theater Company
UnboundEd Learning, Inc
Uncommon New York City Charter Schools
Union Settlement Association
Unique People Services
United Neighborhood Houses of New York
University Settlement Society of New York
Urban Arts Partnership
Urban Assembly
Urban Bush Women
Urban Homesteading Assistance Board (U-HAB)
Urban Justice Center
Urban Pathways
Urban Resource Institute
Urban Upbound
Urban Word NYC
Vibrant Emotional Health
Vineyard Theatre and Workshop
Violence Intervention Program
Vision Urbana
VISIONS/Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Vocational Instruction Project Community Services
Voces Latinas
Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
Volunteers of Legal Service
Washington Heights Corner Project
Wave Hill
Weeksville Heritage Center
Wendy’s Subway Inc.
West End Intergenerational Residence Housing Development Fund Company
West Side Campaign Against Hunger
West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing
Weston United Community Renewal
White Wave Rising Dance Company
William F. Ryan Community Health Center
Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls
Women for Afghan Women
Women in Need
Women Make Movies
Women’s Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco)
Women’s Prison Association and Home
Women’s Project Theater
Working Theatre Company
Works & Process
World Music Institute
Writing Revolution
Wyckoff House & Association
Xavier Mission Inc.
Yaa Samar! Dance Theatre
Yemeni American Merchants Association
YM-YWHA of the Bronx
YM-YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood
You Gotta Believe!
Young People’s Chorus of New York City
Young Urban Christians & Artists
YWCA of Brooklyn

NY1: Acts of Kindness: Man Who Lost Both Parents Within Weeks of Each Other Finds Way to Give Back

Illumination Fund supports partners in emergency food project in Washington Heights

by Kristin Shaughnessy

A man whose family was devastated by grief and loss is working through that grief by giving back.

Tom’s mother died on Valentine’s Day from an illness unrelated to. His father then ​contracted COVID-19 and died three weeks later. Tom and his siblings were also infected by the virus.

After fighting his own battle with the virus, Tom and his partner Billy, the co-founders of Company Catered, had to change their business model because their catering business was shuttered.

With generous donations from the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund and long time clients, they created Company Dinner. 

They worked with the community-based group CLOTH, Community League of the Heights, to serve families in the hardest hit areas of Washington Heights. They are serving about 185 meals a day and plan to continue through the summer.

“Having lost members of my family, and for my whole family to get so critically ill, things get put into a perspective,” Tom said. “Coming out the other side of it you’re thinking to yourself, okay I’m here, what can I do?”

Watch the segment on NY1:
Acts of Kindness: Man Who Lost Both Parents Within Weeks of Each Other Finds Way to Give Back

Inside Philanthropy: A Necessity, Not a Luxury: A Funder Looks to Activate Art’s Power to Heal

by Mike Scutari  

In my recent conversations with arts professionals looking at how philanthropy can build a more resilient post-coronavirus arts sector, respondents repeatedly called for more robust advocacy from funders. 

“Right now, we are seeing a demand for the arts like never before: individually and collectively, societies around the globe are expressing themselves through art, yearning for creative expression, using the arts to heal,” said MCW Projects founder Melissa Cowley Wolf and M+D co-founder Sean McManus. (Wolf and McManus are also partners of the Arts Funders Forum, which seeks to increase private support for arts and culture with an emphasis on engaging emerging philanthropists.)

My thoughts immediately turned to the prescient work of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, which recently announced it would expand its Arts in Health Initiative to include three additional organizations and new programs at seven others.

The fund launched the initiative in 2018 as a $10 million, multi-year effort to support organizations working on health issues that impact New York communities and that “utilize the arts as a tool for healing, with a special emphasis on improving access and addressing disparities in health outcomes.” The initiative defines “the arts” as visual art, dance, music, theater and film, and focuses on mental health stigma, trauma, aging-related diseases, as well as caring for caregivers and frontline healthcare staff.

Read whole article in Inside Philanthropy

Community Access - Changing Minds Young Filmmakers Festival, marquee

Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund Expands its Arts in Health Initiative

Press Release  

2020 grants support new programs that increase access to the arts to address mental health stigma, trauma, and aging-related diseases

Programs include visual arts, dance, and film-making to serve community members, caregivers and people facing health challenges across New York City

(New York, February 4, 2020) Philanthropist Laurie M. Tisch announced today the expansion of the Illumination Fund’s Arts in Health Initiative to include 3 additional organizations and new programs at 7 others. The new grantees are Mekong NYC, CaringKind’s connect2culture, and Queens Museum’s ArtAccess.

In 2018 the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund launched a $10-million multi-year initiative to support organizations working on health issues that impact New York communities and that utilize the arts as a tool for healing, with a special emphasis on improving access and addressing disparities in health outcomes. The initiative highlights the value of multiple artistic disciplines, including visual art, dance, music, theater, and film, and focuses on three main issues: mental health stigma, trauma, aging-related diseases, as well as caring for caregivers and frontline healthcare staff.

The Illumination Fund is providing new grants to support arts in health initiatives in these organizations:

Mekong NYC focuses on improving the quality of life of Cambodians, Vietnamese and other Southeast Asian communities in the Bronx and throughout New York City. These refugee communities are challenged by health and mental health disparities as well as collective trauma due to war, genocide, and resettlement.  The organization provides access to essential social services, and through cultural and community-building programs Mekong NYC utilizes traditional visual and performing arts to strengthen intergenerational connections, build community pride, foster healing from trauma, and support resilience.

CaringKind’s connect2culture harnesses the power of creative arts and culture and of positive social interaction to improve the lives of persons with dementia and their caregivers. CaringKind, formerly known as Alzheimer’s Association, New York City Chapter, has a particular focus on supporting families and caregivers, who experience higher rates of depression, isolation, and stress than non-dementia caregivers. Connect2Culture is one of CaringKind’s flagship programs, partnering with museums, performing arts organizations and other NYC-based cultural venues to provide participatory programming and to train staff in develop meaningful access programs for people with dementia and their caregivers. The program is undertaking outreach to establish programs in the Bronx and other boroughs.

Queens Museum: ArtAccess provides programs for thousands of children and adults with varying physical, emotional, behavioral, and cognitive abilities across the New York City area, particularly the residents of Queens, a uniquely diverse and international community. ArtAccess also provides outreach services to members of their community who are in special situations, such as hospital-bound children suffering from extended illness, people with disabilities, special-needs students, caregivers, incarcerated youth, and children in foster care. ArtAccess programs are designed and led by licensed art therapists and arts educators.

Additionally, The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund is providing new grants to advance the work of the following outstanding organizations through initiatives and development of organizational capacity.

Changing Minds Young Filmmakers Competition, a program of Community Access, is an online film submission competition for filmmakers ages 15-25, using film as a storytelling medium to combat mental health stigma among youth. Last year youth from across the country submitted more than 950 films, and Community Access debuted its first Changing Minds Young Filmmaker Festival to show selected films.  In 2020, Community Access is launching a partnership with the Jewish Board to reach classroom teachers, guidance counselors, and mental health professionals at public schools in New York City, as well as at community colleges and youth-serving organizations.

Fountain House Gallery, a program of Fountain House, provides an environment for artists living and working with serious mental illness to pursue their creative visions and to challenge the stigma that surrounds mental illness. Its Gallery in Manhattan is a nonprofit exhibition space.  In 2017, Fountain House established a dedicated studio space in Long Island City to provide working space for artists with mental illness and create opportunities to foster artistic talent, further mental health recovery, and prepare these artists to enter the highly competitive art market.. This year, Fountain House Gallery is building upon its successful Artist Studio Program by hosting artists in residence and providing training workshops and guidance in professional development.  

The Art Therapy Project is the only non-profit in New York dedicated solely to providing free, guided art therapy to adults and youth affected by trauma, including veterans, survivors of sexual assault, and at-risk youth. In partnership with more than two dozen nonprofit organizations throughout NYC, the Art Therapy Project uses the creative process and support from art therapists to learn how to explore feelings, increase self-awareness, and cope with life’s challenges. In 2020, the organization is expanding training for working and aspiring Licensed Creative Arts Therapists, social workers, and mental health professionals.

Gibney uses dance and movement workshops as a vehicle to help survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse. Gibney’s Move To Move Beyond program helps survivors address issues of choice, self-care and self-expression. In partnership with Sanctuary for Families, Gibney choreographers and dancers offer over 365 workshops yearly at local domestic violence shelters and partner sites. In 2020, Gibney is working with a group of Sanctuary for Families “Survivor Leaders” to offer performance and advocacy opportunities so that their experiences can educate and inspire broader communities.

The Creative Center at University Settlement uses arts participation to promote creative aging and as an outlet for patients and survivors of cancer and other serious diseases. In 2020, The Creative Center will advance core programs, including Artists in Residence at hospitals in New York City, daily workshops in visual, performing, and literary arts, and a Training Institute for Artists and Administrators in Healthcare and Creative Aging.

Dance for PD, a program of the Mark Morris Dance Group, provides dance and movement workshops for people with Parkinson’s Disease, with classes available in all five boroughs. The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund’s grant will support ongoing programming as well as expansion of these programs to communities in need in Upper Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, and Central Brooklyn, as part of an initiative to increase diversity, equity, inclusion, access to, and engagement in classes.

Arts & Minds provides museum-based workshops for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementia and their caregivers at 14 museums. In 2020, Arts & Minds is expanding outreach in the Spanish-speaking communities of East Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood, where rates of dementia are disproportionately high, and will be formalizing a training program for museum staff and docents to design and implement programs in additional sites.  

“In 2018 a national Harris Poll found that more than 8 in 10 Americans believe the arts can help address key health challenges in their lives and in the lives of their loved ones,” said Rick Luftglass, Executive Director of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund. “The public sees the power of the arts in challenging mental health stigma, overcoming traumatic events, and providing therapeutic benefits and quality of life for people with aging-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s, other dementias and Parkinson’s. Our Arts in Health initiative helps strengthen and advance these innovative programs.”

About the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund

The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund is a New York City-based foundation that strives to improve access and opportunity for all New Yorkers and foster healthy and vibrant communities.  The Illumination Fund plays an active role in supporting innovative approaches across a range of issues – ensuring that the arts and arts education are accessible to all, increasing access to healthy food, promoting civic service, and promoting economic opportunity. In 2018, the Illumination Fund launched Arts in Health, a $10-million multi-year initiative to support organizations working on health issues that impact New York communities and that emphasize the arts as a tool for healing and building understanding. The new initiative’s areas of focus have included the unique role of the arts in addressing mental illness stigma, trauma, and aging-related diseases. For more information, visit or follow @LMTischFund on Twitter.

Galerie Magazine: How Laurie Tisch is Encouraging Wellness through Access to Art

by Hillary M. Sheets  

On a brilliant autumn day, an animated group gathered in the garden at McKinney Hospital in Brooklyn for a painting party. As they worked on a series of panels for an outdoor mural, residents of the nursing home chatted alongside doctors, nurses, neighborhood community members, and the philanthropist Laurie Tisch, who made the project possible. Through her Illumination Fund, Tisch contributed $1.5 million to launch Arts in Medicine, an array of new and expanded programs that use art to benefit patients and staff throughout the NYC Health + Hospitals public health-care system, which is the largest in the country.

“It’s taking what really smart and dedicated people have developed and making it bigger and more accessible,” says Tisch, whose recent grant is one of 13 made so far under the umbrella of her $10 million initiative, Arts in Health, announced last year.

Read whole article in Galerie

NYC Health + Hospitals’ Arts in Medicine Program Selects Artists to Lead Hospital-Based Community Murals


Project uses a collaborative mural making process to encourage creativity, lower stress, build trust and increase engagement between the hospitals and members of their surrounding communities

 On July 18, NYC Health + Hospitals’ Arts in Medicine program announced that it has selected nine artists to lead the community-based mural projects at eight hospitals across New York City. The artists, chosen from more than 100 applications, will engage patients, staff, and local community residents to create an integrated internal or external mural at NYC Health + Hospitals facilities. Each collaboration will occur between August 1 and December 31, 2019. The collaborative mural-making process is a tool to encourage creativity, build trust and engagement between the hospitals and their communities, reduce stigma and foster pride in the hospitals through community-building activities. The project is a flagship component of NYC Health + Hospitals’ arts-based initiatives, made possible through the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund and the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City.

“Incorporating art in medicine encourages a whole person’s approach to healing. With vibrant expressions of color, imagination and culturally meaningful symbols, the community murals will produce, naturally, those surges of pleasure and distraction that reduce pain and frustration. In addition to bringing communities and community members together, these murals will help provide greater insight into the lives and concerns of community residents,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray. “We are proud to promote this work with talented artists across the city, and look forward to creating more thoughtful and emotionally nourishing spaces in our communities.”

“It is clear from decades of research that the arts promote healing in many important ways. The arts help celebrate shared history and culture, promote physical healing, reduce stress and support mental health,” said Eric Wei, MD, MBA, Vice President and Chief Quality Officer of NYC Health + Hospitals, and Chair of the Art Advisory Council. “With the Community Murals Project and the other programs in our Arts in Medicine initiative we’re able to expand our long tradition of arts in healthcare to more NYC Health + Hospitals’ patients, staff and neighborhoods.

“The Arts in Medicine Community Murals Project is much more than an art installation in our hospitals,” said Dave Chokshi, MD, MSc, FACP, Vice President and Chief Population Health Officer at NYC Health + Hospitals, and Co-Chair of the Art Advisory Council. “We’re engaging patients, staff and local residents to participate in the mural painting process, emphasizing NYC Health + Hospitals’ focus on community building and partnerships.”

“NYC Health + Hospitals is in the vanguard of hospitals in America utilizing art as a tool in healing,” said Laurie Tisch, Founder and President of the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund. “We are proud to partner with NYC Health + Hospitals and the Mayor’s Fund to bring eight more murals to communities throughout New York this year. The murals and the collaborative process to create them not only increase community engagement and improve patients’ experiences, they are instrumental in creating a more positive work environment for the frontline staff and health care workers who face enormous pressure every day. These murals will be a lasting testament to the power of art to bring communities together, reduce stigma and improve lives.”

The artists and their assigned NYC Health + Hospitals facilities are:

The artists were selected through a rigorous process. Criteria included:

  • Demonstration of prior collaborative community engagement
  • Artistic excellence through a portfolio review
  • Understanding of how to work with materials suitable for a healthcare setting
  • Application of one of four proposed central themes, which included Honoring the Past, Transforming the Future; Joyful: Aesthetic of Joy; Healing Community; and Together as One
  • An interview with members of the selection committee

 The new Community Murals Project builds upon a mural tradition that started in the 1930s when the depression-era Works Progress Administration supported the creation of hundreds of murals across New York City’s public hospitals, and that continued decades later with murals by world-famous artists such as Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf. The Community Murals Project will connect artists, local community members and hospital staff to re-imagine hospitals and promote greater neighborhood wellness.

The Community Murals Project is made possible with a grant from the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund through the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. The fund awarded NYC Health + Hospitals a total of $1.5 million in February 2019 to expand programs serving health care staff, patients, and communities in sites across the City. The grant also allows NYC Health + Hospitals to launch new programs that use the arts as a resource to promote employee wellness and resilience and to combat compassion fatigue.

The Arts in Medicine program at NYC Health + Hospitals seeks to foster the emotional well-being, promote healing, wellness, and engagement of patients, families, employees, and the greater health system’s community by integrating all disciplines of the arts such as literary, visual and performing arts throughout the public hospital system.

NYC Health + Hospitals curates the largest public art collection in New York City and is committed to preserving more than 5,000 works of art and making them accessible to the public. The history of the art collection dates back to the 1930s, when the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Art Project hired artists to create works for government buildings. NYC Health + Hospitals was the fortunate recipient of approximately 60 mural panels. Today, the organization recognizes the historic and cultural significance of these murals and works to preserve them.

 Community Mural

Continuing the tradition established in the 1930s the Work Progress Administration supported hundreds of murals across New York City’s public hospitals, community murals leverage artists and local community members to re-imagine hospitals and promote greater neighborhood wellness. Mural artists will engage with patients, staff, and local residents to create an integrated internal or external mural at selected NYC Health + Hospitals facilities, developing cultural ties between artists, patients, staff, and local residents.

To learn more about the programs that are a part of NYC Health + Hospitals’ Arts in Medicine, please visit

Brooklyn Daily Eagle Article: Two Brooklyn Hospitals Are About to Get Some Awesome Murals

Patch Article: Forest Hills Artist to Spearhead Mural Project at Queens Hospital

Illumination Fund Launches New $10 Million Arts In Health Initiative


Building on its 10 years of supporting organizations that help improve the lives of New Yorkers, the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund (LMTIF) has launched a $10-million-dollar, multi-year initiative to support organizations working on health issues that impact New York communities and that emphasize the arts as a tool for healing. The new initiative focuses on three main issues in 2018: mental illness stigma, trauma, and aging related diseases.

“Decades of scientific study show that engagement in the arts provides cognitive, emotional and physical health benefits for people from youth to old age, but there are great disparities in access to services in New York City,” says Laurie M. Tisch, president and founder of LMTIF. “This initiative will help organizations doing important work with underserved populations, increase their ability to reach more people, and build awareness of the role the arts can play in healing. At our core, we are dedicated to using the arts to help build healthy and vibrant communities in New York City.”

New York City Organizations Connecting Arts in Health

To kick off the Arts in Health Initiative, LMTIF is providing initial grants to nine New York City organizations spanning disciplines such as visual art, film, community murals, theater, dance and other arts disciplines:

Says Laurie M. Tisch, “LMTIF is deeply committed to increasing access and opportunity in a range of issues, from access to healthy food, access to the arts and arts education, to economic opportunity. That’s why I created the foundation. As with other areas in which we have focused, in Arts and Health we see significant barriers to access, and issues of inequity, so we are funding programs that help overcome disparities in access to those in need.”

In addition to making grants, LMTIF will convene its grantee partners, health experts, New York City arts leaders, foundations, philanthropists and community partners to share ideas and demonstrate impact.  Each event will focus on a distinct theme and will showcase three of LMTIF’s new grantees.

The first gathering in the foundation’s Arts in Health initiative was held April 24th, at Hunter College’s Roosevelt House, in partnership with the Aspen Institute and Hunter College.  The gathering examined ways that the arts are addressing mental health stigma. The event featured leaders of three New York-based organizations and agencies working in the field: Community Access, Fountain House and the NYC Mural Arts Project at the Department of Health. Introductory remarks will be provided by Patrick Corrigan, author, Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and a foremost expert in mental health stigma who has authored or edited more than 400 peer-reviewed articles and 15 books on mental health.

“Many people with serious mental illness are challenged doubly,” says Dr. Corrigan. “On one hand, they struggle with the symptoms and disabilities that result from the disease. On the other, they are challenged by the stereotypes and prejudice that result from misconceptions about mental illness. As a result, people with mental illness are robbed of the opportunities that define a quality life: good jobs, safe housing, satisfactory health care, and affiliation with a diverse group of people.”

According to Corrigan, “The stigma of mental illness is first and foremost a social justice issue. Although stigmatizing attitudes are not limited to mental illness, the public seems to disapprove of persons with psychiatric disabilities significantly more than persons with related conditions such as physical illness. Severe mental illness has been likened to drug addiction, prostitution, and criminality.”

Corrigan’s research has identified several key ingredients to effective anti-stigma initiatives, including face-to-face contact, sharing stories about personal challenges, presenters with “lived experiences,” contact that includes a common goal, and having an uplifting message.  Those ingredients undergird the Changing Minds Young Filmmaker Competition, the NYC Mural Arts Project, and Fountain House Gallery.

Looking Ahead

On September 13, LMTIF will convene experts and stakeholders to discuss the role of the arts in addressing trauma at Hostos Community College in the Bronx, with the Art Therapy Project, Theater of War, and Gibney. On November 28th LMTIF will host a gathering to explore the role of the arts to help address aging-related diseases at the Mark Morris Dance Studio in Brooklyn, featuring Dance for PD (Parkinson’s disease), Arts and Minds, and The Creative Center at University Settlement.


Laurie Tisch Listed in Crain’s 50 Most Powerful Women in New York

Most Powerful Women 2017

Laurie Tisch makes her debut appearance on Crain’s 50 Most Powerful Women in New York list in the #15 spot. Crain’s recognized her commitment to philanthropic areas in education, arts and culture, nutrition and healthy food. Laurie said “My philanthropy comes from a fundamental belief that circumstances of birth should not limit life’s opportunities. It’s about [expanding] access and opportunity for all New Yorkers, whether that’s access to the arts, healthy food, education or economic opportunity.”  Crain’s will host a celebratory luncheon September 26.


The New York Times Profiles Laurie Tisch

Laurie Tisch, Collecting the Giants, of New York and Modern Art

The New York Times showcased Laurie Tisch’s commitment to the visual arts in a special profile in its Art & Design column. In addition to sharing her love of modern and contemporary American artists, which has been inspired by her role as a trustee of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the article also highlighted her decades of leadership in arts education. She gave shout-outs to the Children’s Museum of Manhattan and the Center for Arts Education, where she was the founding board chair, and she emphasized the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund’s focus in New York City.

Laurie Tisch Launches Children’s Book Drive

On November 30th, Laurie M. Tisch, honorary chair of the Children’s Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) read to 30-40 children, ages 3-4, at Union Johnson Early Learning Center in East Harlem, one of 24 CMOM Health and Learning hubs sponsored by LMTIF. The event kicked-off CMOM’s city-wide holiday book drive benefiting hubs at Head Start centers and homeless shelters throughout the City. Laurie also spoke with Fox 5 NY News  and encouraged everyone to support the book drive by dropping-off new children’s books, in English or Spanish, at the Children’s Museum (212 West 83rd Street) through February 9, 2018. Watch the segment here.

It is a sad fact that 1 in 4 children in the US don’t learn to read. Literacy is an essential building block for a successful, healthy life, and with LMTIF support,  the 24 Health and Learning Hubs of the Children’s Museum of Manhattan provide important services, including arts, and literacy programs, to children in Head Start programs and homeless shelters across New York City in every borough.  Today, the Children’s Museum kicked off its holiday book drive at the Union Johnson Early Learning Center, the first learning hub for CMOM. Laurie Tisch read stories (in English and Spanish) and gave books to about 40 children ages 3 and 4, and then the children participated in artmaking and music programs. At the end of the book drive, February 9, 2018, children in the learning hubs will each receive a book to take home and read with their families.