From Wikipedia: “Patronage is the support, encouragement, privilege, or financial aid that an organization or individual bestows to another.”
New York City’s Central Park has found a patron to rival the Medicis. Hedge fund manager John. A. Paulson has gifted Central Park $100 million.
photo by Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times
It’s about time that parks saw some major philanthropic action too.
“Asked what prompted the gift, he said: ‘Walking through the park in different seasons, it kept coming back that, in my mind, Central Park is the most deserving of all of New York’s cultural institutions. And I wanted the amount to make a difference. The park is very large, and its endowment is relatively small.’” — A $100 Million Thank-You for a Lifetime’s Central Park Memories, Lisa Foderaro, The New York Times, 10/23/12.
From the Central Park Conservancy website: “Eighty-five percent of Central Park’s $46 million annual expense budget comes from private donations. Central Park has received an unprecedented gift of $100 million from John A. Paulson and the Paulson Family Foundation to help sustain the progress we’ve made since 1980 and ensure that generations to come will be able to make their own memories here.”
New York City parks are really feeling the love lately. What a roll they’ve been on the past couple years:
“The gift is the latest in a year in which city parks emerged as major beneficiaries of philanthropy, joining more traditional recipients like museums, hospitals and universities. A year ago, the Diller-von Furstenberg Family Foundation pledged $20 million to the High Line, the elevated park on the West Side of Manhattan; that donation followed two other gifts to the High Line from the foundation, totaling $15 million. In April, Joshua P. Rechnitz, an amateur track cyclist, announced a gift of $40 million to Brooklyn Bridge Park to build a field house with a cycling track.” — A $100 Million Thank-You for a Lifetime’s Central Park Memories, Lisa Foderaro, The New York Times, 10/23/12.
Not to seem all grouchy and ungrateful, but there’s this other way that rich people can help support parks. It’s called paying taxes.
Good for New York, good for the Park and good for us all
Jason, it is weird that patronage has gone this way since forever, but at least the power brokers are turning their attention to parks now.
Deanne, I think so too. Maybe the next idyll I can take a side trip and explore Central Park.