A History of supporting communities
The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation believes in art as a cornerstone of cohesive, resilient communities and greater participation in civic life. In its mission to make art available to the broader public, in particular to underserved communities, the Foundation provides direct support to, and facilitates partnerships
between, cultural organizations and advocates of social justice across the public and private sectors. Through grantmaking, the Foundation supports cross-disciplinary work connecting art with social justice via experimental collaborations, as well as extending cultural resources to organizations and areas of New York City in need.
The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation was incorporated in 1995, with initial grants to Art in Hospitals and The Center to Prevent Handgun Violence. Its early mission was to support the arts, meet urgent human needs, defend liberty and promote social justice. The geographic areas of concern were primarily New York City and the Himalayan region of Asia. Evelyn Rich, who served from 1995 to 2004,
was the Foundation’s first executive director. Following her departure Bruce Payne, who served as executive director until 2013, oversaw a substantial increase in activity, expanding both projects and grants. Alexander Gardner became director in 2013 and served until 2016. Sara Reisman is currently overseeing the Art and Social Justice initiative in her role as Executive and Artistic Director of the Foundation.