Dispensing $8 million of income from its $3-billion fortune, the J. Paul Getty Trust has bestowed six- and seven-figure gifts on eight Southern California institutions and established a fund for smaller gifts in the future. Local museums, universities, colleges and libraries received a total of $5 million this year, while an additional $3 million went to a new fund to support the visual arts in the Los Angeles area.
Libraries at the Claremont University Center and UCLA were the biggest winners, each receiving $1 million. Claremont will use the money to complete a new central complex for Honnold Library, while the UCLA Library will establish an endowment fund to purchase books and manuscripts produced before AD 1600.
Six other institutions each received $500,000. The Craft and Folk Art Museum will apply its half-million-dollar gift to a projected expansion program, according to museum director Patrick Ela. Plans are preliminary, he said, "but we will do good and big things with the money. It's a significant gift for us because it recognizes our institution's contribution to the scene in Los Angeles."
Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design will use its Getty money to construct a new library, "closer to the studio environment on central campus," said Francie Balcomb, director of public relations. The school's current library is on 6th Street, a few blocks from the main buildings on Wilshire Boulevard.
Cal State Los Angeles plans to construct an art museum as part of a proposed arts complex. Whittier College also intends to build a new art gallery on campus with Getty money.
The library at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County will use its new-found funds to benefit its anthropological collections. The Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, currently engaged in a capital campaign, will enhance its existing endowment of about $200,000 with the Getty's gift of $500,000. Income from the endowment pays for museum operations and acquisitions.
This round of gifts winds up a four-year program that has awarded one-time, unrestricted funds to local visual arts organizations and research libraries. But the program will continue on a reduced scale through a new $3-million fund to be administered by the California Community Foundation.
Figures have not been released, but this new program of relatively small gifts is designed to benefit "emerging visual arts institutions" and local artists, according to a press release.
Beginning next year, hopeful recipients will apply directly to the Los Angeles-based foundation that handles more than 200 funds for charitable projects in Southern California. A public announcement regarding application guidelines and eligibility will be made by the end of this year.