A trustee’s job is to determine an organization’s need and then look far and wide for a check-writer.
Unless that trustee is Palm Beach Resident Gail May Engelberg, who found a need and then found a check-writer very, very near.
She only had to look in the mirror.
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Engelberg, a trustee of New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, along with her husband, Alfred, and their eponymous foundation, have committed $15 million to endow the institution’s arts education programs.
The museum announced the gift on July 20.
“My parents taught me the importance of the arts and arts education when I was a young girl and brought me to New York to visit the Guggenheim,” said Engelberg, who also serves as chairman of the Guggenheim Foundation’s education committee and is a fierce advocate for arts education.
“The arts have been an essential part of my life ever since.”
The gift will fuel the museum’s ongoing commitment to a space for community engagement and connection through the arts.
That space, an 8,200-square-foot center that includes classrooms, studio art spaces, and a theater, will be named the Gail May Engelberg Center for Arts Education.
“It is an honor to support the work of this great museum in providing educational opportunities that I know will enrich the lives of children, students and families for generations to come,” Engelberg said.
The museum’s programs include Educator workshops, GuggTeens, free visits for all New York City public school students, an artist-in-residency school partnership, endowed lectures, conversation series, performances and commissions, yearlong residencies, architecture-focused programs and virtual offerings.
“We are honored that the Guggenheim’s education center will bear the name of Gail May Engelberg, who has been one of the most ardent leaders of arts education at the Guggenheim for the last 25 years,” said Richard Armstrong, director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation. “Gail’s support and advocacy are truly exemplary and have enabled the Guggenheim to create dynamic and meaningful programming.”
Engelberg is no stranger to service or philanthropy.
The New Orleans native serves as Jazz at Lincoln Center’s vice chair of the board and as a trustee of The Engelberg Foundation, which provides grants for health care, education and social service projects.
She also has served on the board of New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts and as secretary of the Board of the Aspen Music Festival and School.