Shelley and Donald Rubin are philanthropists and cultural leaders who are recognized for their initiatives to expand public access to the arts and, through meaningful interactions with art, foster understanding between people in New York and throughout the world. Believing that art has the potential to change the status quo, they established the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation in 1995 to provide opportunities for creative engagement with issues that affect all members of society, particularly underserved communities. In order to further this goal, the Foundation promotes art, education, and social well being, as well as partnerships between the public and private sectors and among cultural organizations and advocates of social justice.
In 2010, the Rubins established The 8th Floor, a nonprofit exhibition and event space that explores art’s role as an instrument for social change in the 21st century. The following year, Shelley founded A Blade of Grass, the first grant-making nonprofit solely dedicated to nurturing socially engaged art.
The Foundation has incubated innovative projects such as Himalayan Art Resources, Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center, The Treasury of Lives, LaborArts, Music and Memory, and most recently Art and Social Justice, an initiative which aims at broadening artistic and cultural access in New York City in order to promote more cohesive and resilient communities, and greater participation in civic life.
In 2004, the Rubins founded the Rubin Museum of Art, a public, non-profit institution in New York City, to share and exhibit their collection of art from Tibet and Himalayan Asia. Donald founded MultiPlan, Inc., one of the oldest Preferred Provider Organizations in the country. Shelley serves as a Trustee on the boards of Human Rights Watch and is Trustee Emeritus of the Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center.
Harvey C. Sigelbaum, Trustee of The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, is a Senior Advisor for The Riverside Company, a global private equity firm and an attorney, admitted to the New York Bar in 1963. He has been active as a board member on numerous organizations, both for-profit and not-for-profit, including those focused on healthcare, insurance, media, affordable housing, international development and community welfare.
Prior to joining Riverside, Harvey served as President and Co-CEO, then Executive Chairman, of MultiPlan, Inc., a national healthcare network organization founded by Donald Rubin. Previously, Harvey was CEO of Amalgamated Life Insurance Company, and before that, CEO of Urban Community Insurance Company.
In addition, Harvey was appointed by President Clinton to serve on the Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a self-sustaining U.S. Government agency.
Sara Reisman is the Executive Director and Artistic Director of the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation. In her role, she oversees the Foundation’s initiative Art and Social Justice, which aims at broadening artistic and cultural access in New York City in order to promote more cohesive and resilient communities, and greater participation in civic life.
Sara leads the realization of Art and Social Justice through programming and grantmaking. In addition to managing the Foundation’s annual programming budget, she curates exhibitions and events for The 8th Floor, an interdisciplinary space established in 2010 by Shelley and Donald Rubin dedicated to exploring the intersection of art, culture and philanthropy through public engagement.
Sara also works on the Foundation’s grantmaking strategy to support art in all areas of civic life including arts education, public art, art in community and service centers, artistic activism, and community-based museums.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Sara was the Director of New York City’s Percent for Art program at the Department of Cultural Affairs, from 2008 to 2014, where she managed more than 100 public and civic commissions across the five boroughs. From 2008 to 2009, Sara was Curatorial Consultant for Public Art in support of the Queens Museum of Art’s community development initiative in Corona, Queens.
Sara has curated exhibitions for the Queens Museum of Art, Socrates Sculpture Park, the Cooper Union School of Art, the Philadelphia Institute of Contemporary Art, Momenta Art, Smack Mellon and LaMaMa Galleria, among other venues. She has extensive experience in education, having served as Associate Dean of the School of Art at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, from 2008 to 2009. From 2006 to 2008, she was the Program Director of the International Studio & Curatorial Program in New York.