The Foundation supports several programmatic initiatives at cultural institutions that are designed to expand knowledge and encourage artistic efforts at the highest levels. It also provides unrestricted support to important organizations in the visual, performing and literary arts and humanities, mainly those located in New York City.
The Foundation’s archives and catalogues program helps arts and humanities institutions process, preserve and use the important contents of their archives and store rooms, with the ultimate goal of making them more available to historians, writers, film-makers, and other scholars. MORE>>
With a $3.7 million gift, the Graduate Center of the City University of New York is creating a hub for writers, scholars, students and readers that is designed to bring fresh, innovative voices to the practice of biography and to strengthen its position within the academy. Guided by prize-winning biographer Gary Giddins, the Center each year is home to four biography fellows and two dissertation fellows working on biographies. The Center also hosts an annual lecture by a celebrated biographer, a series of talks by working biographers and an annual conference for both scholars and the public. In 2011, acclaimed author Hilary Spurling gave the annual Leon Levy Biography Lecture, following Robert Caro, Stacy Schiff and Ron Chernow in previous years.
After receiving a Foundation grant to plan for a pioneering Information Commons at the Central Library — a communal, interactive destination space for students, scholars and all library users that will stress shared technology-based information — the Brooklyn Public Library was awarded an additional $3.25 million to create the Commons. The groundbreaking took place in June, 2011, and work is continuing.
As part of the Bravo Lincoln Center Campaign, the Leon Levy Foundation is sponsoring the Symphonic Masters Series at Lincoln Center. The 2011/2012 concert season begins with three performances by Sir Colin Davis leading the London Symphony Orchestra. The series also includes performances by the Vienna Symphony Orchestra , the Pittsburgh Symphony and Academy of St. Martin in the Fields featuring Joshua Bell.
In honor of the late Senator, a longtime friend of Leon Levy, the Foundation endowed a chair in domestic policy at the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, where Sen. Moynihan both started his career, as a junior faculty member in 1959-61, and ended it, as a University Professor until his death in March 2003. Nationally recognized tax policy and public finance expert Leonard E. Burman was named to the post in August, 2009.
Support Grants to Outstanding Artists, Scholars and Students
The Foundation provides support to three institutions that nurture work by outstanding individuals.
The John Simon Guggenheim Foundation uses its grant to supplement funding to Fellows with no academic or institutional affiliation, helping to cover the costs of their research, artistic endeavors, and living expenses.
The MacDowell Colony offers grants to individuals who would not otherwise be able to afford the time away that a residency requires. The money may be used to cover rent, childcare, and other expenses that accrue during a residency, to pay equipment costs and to replace lost income.
NYU Institute of Fine Arts provides travel grants to students seeking an advanced degree in art history, archaeology or conservation. The grants, available at the end of their first year, allow them to travel during the summer months to see works of art and architecture of scholarly interest anywhere in the world.