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Whitney Museum receives a gift for education from the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation
Members of the media get a tour of the the museum during the press preview for the Whitney Museum of American Art new building and inaugural exhibition April 23, 2015 in New York. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY.


NEW YORK, NY.- The Whitney Museum of American Art has received a $2 million gift from the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation to support its award-winning education programs, Adam D. Weinberg, Alice Pratt Brown Director of the Whitney, announced today. Over the next five years, the Foundation's gift will provide essential support for the Museum’s education programs which serve children, teens, seniors, and the community at large.

“The Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation’s generous gift recognizes that education is one of the cornerstones of the Whitney’s mission. Visiting the Museum can be a life-changing experience at any age, opening us up to new ideas and ways of thinking, increasing our understanding of the human condition, and showing us how artists perceive the world,” said Mr. Weinberg. “Our education programs deepen and enrich our experience of art and enhance our power to see and to think about what we’ve seen. We are profoundly grateful for Steven and Alexandra Cohen’s ongoing support, which enables us to continue this essential aspect of our work.”

“Steven and I were inspired to give more after we saw the amazing impact that art has on children first-hand at the Whitney’s Jeff Koons exhibition last summer,” said Alex Cohen, President of the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation. “Jeff helped the art come alive to the kids and engaged them in a completely different way. We are thrilled that our gift will help the Whitney expand their education programs and reach more people in our community.”

The Whitney’s educational programs are designed to make the Museum’s permanent collections and temporary exhibitions accessible and welcoming to a broad range of visitors. The Cohen Foundation’s gift will enable the Museum to offer more free guided visits to students from New York City Schools; to expand public school and community partnerships; to serve a diverse group of teens through its renowned after school programs; and to provide expanded art workshops and open access days for senior citizens and community members. As such, the Museum will become an even more vital resource and cultural anchor in its new downtown community and will help to build and expand an audience for the Whitney’s exhibitions and programs that is as diverse as New York City itself.

The Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation focuses on children’s health, education, veterans, and the arts. In 2014 the Cohen Foundation co-sponsored the Whitney’s Jeff Koons retrospective, providing support, lending works, and enabling the Whitney to expand the number of New York City public school tours of the exhibition, the Museum’s final offering uptown before moving to the Meatpacking District. In the past, the Cohen Foundation has supported Whitney exhibitions devoted to the work of Christian Marclay and Terence Koh.

Kathryn Potts, Associate Director and Helena Rubinstein Chair of Education at the Whitney, commented, “We are enormously grateful to the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation for recognizing the importance of education at the Whitney and for continuing to support the Museum. With the opening of the new Whitney downtown we have been given an unprecedented opportunity to consider what an art museum can be and do for our community. Just as the Whitney’s new building, with its transparency, outdoor spaces, and free first-floor gallery, suggests a receptive relationship between the Museum and the surrounding community, our education programming works to open up the Whitney to New York City’s students, teens, families, artists, schools, seniors, and neighborhood residents. The Whitney’s new downtown home is situated in a diverse neighborhood with a rich artistic and industrial history, and this grant will help the Museum to become a community anchor in this evolving cultural district.”





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