Press Release

Announcing Ruth Foundation for the Arts

Inspired by the legacy of the Late Ruth DeYoung Kohler II, Foundation Launches With an Initial $1.25 Million in Grants to Cultural Organizations


Milwaukee, WI — June 30, 2022 — Today, the Ruth Foundation for the Arts (Ruth Arts) is pleased to mark its debut in the landscape of arts philanthropy with the announcement of its inaugural grantmaking cycle. The new foundation is supported by a bequest from the late Ruth DeYoung Kohler II, and expects to award grants totaling more than $17 million annually.

The first class of Ruth Arts grantees — an initial round of funding that precedes the regular giving cycles that the organization will embark upon later this year — includes 78 nonprofit arts organizations that have been awarded a total of $1.25 million in funding. These individual grants range from $10,000 to $50,000 each.

The Foundation is led by Executive Director Karen Patterson, who was most recently Director of Exhibitions at The Fabric Workshop and Museum and Senior Curator at The John Michael Kohler Center for the Arts, alongside Program Director Kim Nguyen, former Curator and Head of Programs at CCA Wattis Institute. Under their leadership, the grantmaker will seek to explore new possibilities in arts philanthropy that safeguard creativity and take a people-centric approach.