For nearly 60 years, the Helena Rubinstein Foundation has supported arts, education, health, and community service programs primarily in New York City
NEW YORK, Oct. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Helena Rubinstein Foundation, established in 1953, will officially cease operations by the end of the year. Over its nearly 60 year history, the Foundation has distributed close to $130 million, primarily to education and community-based organizations in New York City.
Helena Rubinstein was a beauty authority, industrial pioneer, patron of the arts, philanthropist, and collector. Born in Poland in 1871, at the age of 18, she immigrated to Melbourne, Australia, and at the age of 20 began her cosmetics business with a single product, a simple face cream. At a time when career opportunities for women were virtually nonexistent, Helena Rubinstein created a successful business enterprise which expanded from Melbourne to London in 1902, to Paris in 1906, and to New York in 1912. The international cosmetics empire she created earned her a reputation as one of the world's most successful businesswomen.
Helena Rubinstein started the Foundation in affirmation of a principle she often expressed: "My fortune comes from women and should benefit them and their children, to better their quality of life." Convinced that education was vital to career development, she made scholarship grants to encourage young women to undertake higher education and to pursue nontraditional careers. The Foundation maintained its founder's vision over many years, focusing on education and career initiatives, arts education, and health and direct services for low-income communities. The majority of the Foundation's giving went to education programs across the age spectrum – from helping children to achieve in school, to preparing young people for college and the world of work, to enabling adults to reach their full potential through job training, internship, scholarship, and fellowship opportunities.
Diane Moss, President, has guided the Foundation since 1968: "We are proud to have supported many organizations working in education, arts-in-education, community services, and health. Some of the most satisfying initiatives and programs we have been involved in have been job training for the unemployed and career exposure for young people, understanding that linking people to jobs and career opportunities is the clearest path out of poverty. With the Foundation closing, we have made several final and significant grants that reflect our history and values over many decades."
Apart from being a successful businesswoman, Helena Rubinstein was a friend and patron of many artists who are recognized today as the foremost in the world. Foundation assets included an archive of more than 600 photographs that are now in the care of the Fashion Institute of Technology (of the State University of New York), and twenty-seven portraits of her by well-known artists (including Salvador Dali, Pavel Tchelitchew, and Marie Laurencin) which were auctioned by Sotheby's in 2011.
A listing of the Foundation's grants is available on its website: http://www.helenarubinsteinfdn.org
SOURCE Helena Rubinstein Foundation