Wildfires are devastating communities across California, causing more than 300,000 people to evacuate their homes and threatening many more. The Camp Fire in Northern California -- one of three blazing across the state -- is the most destructive in state history. We want to ensure that, if you are in an affected community, you find access to shelter. And if you are looking to help with disaster relief efforts, you know the most effective ways to contribute.
We invest in America's finest artists and illuminate the value of artists to society.
A coalition of leading foundations Ford, Rockefeller, Prudential and Rasmuson - realized the need for supporting artists in America and in an unprecedented private investment, launched United States Artists in September 2005 with $22 million in seed funding. (These four foundation presidents became the founding board of USA.)
Their initial investment allows our organization to fund the USA Fellows program, which annually awards $50,000 unrestricted grants to 50 artists across the country in 8 artistic disciplines. Every one of these awards is available to be underwritten. And, happily, patrons from across the country have stepped up to do so, including Eli Broad, Michael Bloomberg, Ella Cisneros, Agnes Gund, Laurie Tisch and Steve Wynn. To date we have leveraged the $22 million from our founders and have raised a total of $51 million.
But we want our USA Fellows program to still be issuing grants 25 years from now. 50. 100. To guarantee this, USA is in the process of raising $50 million dollars to permanently endow the program. In other words, we want to support America's finest artists generously--and forever! To date we're 20% there.
At the other end of the investment scale, in December 2010 United States Artists launched USA Projects to allow any accomplished artist in the country to post projects and raise funds from friends and fans. Through this new, micro-philanthropy model, donors can give as little as $1 to support projects. All gifts are tax-deductible, and we continue to grow an exciting and unique match funds program that supports projects.