How and Why the Tufts Support the Arts

Robert E. Tuft started working for Goldman Sachs in 1976, beginning his career as a vice president in New York institutional sales and moving on to equity capital markets. Tuft made partner at the firm and was also a managing director. More recently, he's served as chairman of the global capital markets advisory at Lazard.

It's unclear how much Tuft is currently worth, but he made partner in 1986, and around the same time established the Tuft Family Foundation, which he runs with his wife, Diane. The foundation has dispersed around $1 million annually in recent years, and while the vehicle flies under the radar, a look at recent 990s reveals a number of arts and culture grantees, particularly in the New York metro area. The forces here involve Diane, who first earned a mathematics degree from University of Connecticut before continuing her studies in art at Pratt Institute, New York. These days, Diane is a mixed media artist who especially focuses on photography. It tracks that she sits on the board the International Center for Photography, which received a total of $60,000 from the couple's foundation in a recent fiscal year.

Tuft, too, has been engaged in the arts and chairs the board of the Roundabout Theater Company, a role he's held now for some eight seasons. Apart from this commitment, Robert Tuft also serves as vice chairman of the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Given these forces, a number of arts grantees have showed up on the tax records for the couple's foundation including Film Society of Lincoln Center, Vivan Beaumont Theater, Roundabout Theatre Company (which received some $460,000 in a recent fiscal year), International Center of Photography, Whitney Museum of Art, MoMA, Aspen Film, Guild Hall of East Hampton, and New York Theatre Ballet. The couple has also supported Perelman Music Program, a summer program for gifted young musicians. 

Apart from the arts, the couple, through their foundation, have also supported education, human services, and health, among other areas. While Diane Tuft has been heavily involved in the arts, she has also been interested in medicine and scientific research and has served as a trustee of The Cancer Research Institute, an outfit which the couple has recently bankrolled. For a full overview of what Tuft and Diane are up to read our profile below. Again, the Tuft Family Foundation is not particularly accessible, and information on how exactly grantseekers might get in touch is scarce.

Related: Thomas E. Tuft