Meet the Arnholds, Big Dance Funders

We've been digging into the philanthropy of Henry Arnhold, who comes from the Arnhold banking family from Dresden. Arnhold has two philanthropic vehicles, the Arnhold Foundation and the Mulago Foundation. The Arnhold Foundation is the outfit that dance grantseekers will want to know. Unfortunately though, the foundation doesn't have much of a web presence or a clear way to get in touch. However, a long list of dance grantees have appeared on the Arnhold Foundation's recent tax records.

Arnhold's connection to the arts and dance is strong. He's an avid art collector with a collection of more than 500 pieces of 18th-century porcelain made in Meissen, a town in eastern Germany close to Dresden. Some of these pieces have been put on display at the Frick Collection in New York. The forces at work here also involve Arnhold's daughter-in-law, Jody Gottfried Arnhold, a dance educator and arts advocate who taught dance in NYC public schools for more than 25 years.

Jody serves as honorary chair of Ballet Hispanico, which "explores, preserves, and celebrates Latino culture." The ballet has received some $2.5 million in the two most recent tax years available. Arnhold's son John and Jody also led Ballet Hispanico’s $9.5 million Adelante! capital campaign.

Jody founded Dance Education Laboratory (DEL) at the 92nd Street Y which "provides intensive workshops and courses in a variety of skills and methodologies for dance artists and educators who seek to improve their teaching abilities in the classroom or other settings." The Arnhold Foundation gave close to $320,000 to the 92nd Street Y in 2013 and a little under $300,000 in 2012.

Jody also serves on the Arts Advisory Committee for the New York City Department of Education (DOE) and the Arnhold Dance Fellows Program and Arnhold New Dance Teacher Support Program work within the New York City public school system. As well, Hunter College is home to the Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Program and the Arnhold Collection of the Dance Education Laboratory.

Past grantmaking by the Arnhold Foundation involves a long string of dance outfits. Funds have also gone to American Dance Machine for the 21st Century, which received a $5,000 grant in 2013. The outfit describes itself as a "repertory company for musical-theater dance." That same year, a large $120,000 grant went to New York City Center, which is home to many distinguished companies, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater.

Other past grantees include Ballet Theatre Foundation, Dances by Isadora, Dance Theater of Harlem (which received $60,000 in 2013), Erika Thimey Dance & Theater Company, The Kitchen, an "experimental performance space located in New York City and presenting video, music, dance, performance, film and literature events," and Dance for a Variable Population, which focuses on older adults.

The Arnhold Foundation also funds outfits that support and advocate for dance and dancers. For instance, money has recently gone to Career Transition for Dancers, which is "dedicated to helping dancers establish new careers when they have retired from their performing careers," Eye on Dance, whose goal is to "advance the public's access to knowledge about the arts and culture," and Dance Notation Bureau, "a nonprofit organization founded to preserve choreographic works through notating dance scores in Labanotation and collaborating with dance companies to stage reconstructions of those works."

It's apparent that Arnhold is committed to dance. We should repeat though the foundation flies well under the radar and so a clear description of what exactly Arnhold is looking for in its dance grantees, or how to get in touch, is hard to come by.

Related: Arnhold Foundation: Grants for Dance