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Eli and Edythe Broad Named Distinguished Philanthropists at the Kennedy Center’s Spring Gala
Eli and Edythe Broad accept the award for Distinguished Philanthropists at the Kennedy Center on May 6, 2018. Photo by Yassine El Mansouri.
WASHINGTON, D.C., May 6, 2018—Philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad, founders of The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, were named Distinguished Philanthropists as the 2018 recipients of the Award for the Human Spirit at the annual Spring Gala for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Spring Gala. They were honored for their work to bring contemporary art to the widest possible audience.
In acceptance remarks delivered at the gala at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Eli Broad discussed the importance of federal funding for the arts.
“We need the arts in every community,” said Broad, adding, “we should have double the arts funding we currently have.”
Broad noted that despite President Donald Trump’s expressed desire to defund or dramatically decrease federal funding for the arts, Congress has maintained and, earlier this year, even slightly increased funding for the arts.
“With all the conflict in our country, it is heartening that we can agree that the arts matter. They contribute to our economy, they inspire us and they bring us together,” he said.
This was the third annual presentation of the Kennedy Center Award for the Human Spirit, which commemorates the contributions of President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy to cultural life in the United States. The Distinguished Philanthropist Award honors a lifetime commitment to and advocacy for the performing arts, recognizing individuals who have had a substantial influence on the broader cultural life of their community and country through personal commitment and philanthropy. Past recipients include Joan and Sandy Weill and Wallis Annenberg.
Alongside the Broads, actor and activist Gary Sinise received the Citizen Artist award for his work on behalf of American veterans.
Eli and Edythe Broad are devoted to philanthropy as founders of The Broad Foundations, which include The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation and The Broad Art Foundation. Over the past five decades, the Broads have built one of the most prominent collections of postwar and contemporary art worldwide. The Broads built and endowed a permanent home for the 2,000-work collection at The Broad, a contemporary art museum in downtown Los Angeles with free general admission. In the two years since its founding, The Broad has welcomed more than 2 million visitors.