A-List Donors Fill MoCA Coffers

Los Angeles - Trustees of the Museum of Contemporary Art announced Wednesday that they have raised more than $50 million since the middle of March for the museum’s endowment. A larger endowment is widely seen as the first step to turning around the troubled institution.

Art collectors of Art Kabinett social media network have been following the precarious finances of LAMoCA.

Last month trustees identified $100 million as the goal for its endowment campaign, saying that donations and pledges had brought it up to $60 million. At that time, they declined to name specific donors or provide a timeline for when they would receive the money.

Now they have identified donors who have made “commitments ranging from $1 million to $10 million” to bring their endowment to $75 million.

A-List Donors

The list includes several trustees and their spouses: Wallis Annenberg, Maria and Bill Bell, Eli and Edythe Broad, Blake Byrne, Steven and Alexandra Cohen, Cliff and Mandy Einstein, Lenore Greenberg, David and Suzanne Johnson, Bruce Karatz and Lilly Tartikoff Karatz, Daniel S. Loeb and Margaret Munzer Loeb, Eugenio Lopez, Lillian Lovelace, Maurice Marciano, Edward J. and Julie Minskoff, Dallas Price-Van Breda, Fred and Carla Sands, Jeffrey and Catharine Soros, Darren Star and Sutton Stracke.

Some former supporters and spouses also donated: Paul and Herta Amir and Marc and Eva Stern.

“The level of support we have received is fantastic. There is a new energy and excitement about MOCA’s future and its leadership role in the art world,” said Lopez, a co-chair of the endowment campaign.

The museum also confirmed that its endowment before the March campaign started amounted to just $22 million.

At the time, the museum had not been able to raise enough money to fully capitalize on lifetime trustee Eli Broad’s $15-million matching pledge for endowment funds, made during the museum’s financial crisis of 2008, and also faced the prospect of his $15 million in exhibition support, set up at the same time on a five-year-schedule, running out.

This situation prompted cultural leaders like Ann Philbin of the Hammer Museum to express a desire for “something dramatic” to happen at MOCA—preferably “something wonderful like all the billionaires on the board decide to write very huge checks and save MOCA in a real way.”