Monday, March 28, 2011

Art collecting for philanthropy and education

Sisters continued mother's philanthropic pursuits - Utica, NY - The Observer-Dispatch, Utica, New York:
"Helen Elizabeth Munson was laying the foundation for a museum and performing arts center that would become a focal point for Utica’s cultural past, present and future.

An astute art collector, a philanthropist and shrewd investor, Munson was well ahead of her late 19th-century female counterparts.

Her collection and vision, which she passed down to her daughters Rachel and Maria (pronounced Mariah), has literally become the foundation for the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute as a performing arts center. The institute celebrates 75 years as a performing arts center this year.

“Their collections really formed the core of our collection when we opened our doors in 1936, and I think our involvement in the community really carries on the proctor sprit, that we are still free and that they would see the work that would please them. Everything from the arts festival to the refugee center to the programs at the Utica school district is really carrying on what they were interested in for this community — using arts as a basis for education, and to give people in this community cultural experiences they wouldn’t have had necessarily.”"

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