Barbara and Barre Seid Foundation

OVERVIEW: Barbara and Barre Seid Foundation is the philanthropic vehicle of industrialist Barre Seid and his wife Barbara. The couple's Chicago grantmaking involves strong support of arts and culture, with other sums going to education and religious causes.

FUNDING AREAS: Arts and culture, education, religious causes

IP TAKE: The foundation does not have much of a web presence or a clear way to get in touch with the couple.

PROFILE: Established in 1985, the Barbara and Barre Seid Foundation is a private funder in Illinois. Barre Seid is a Chicago industrialist behind Trippe Lite, a manufacturer of surge protectors. His wife Barbara Landis-Seid is prominent in the Chicago arts and culture scene. Barbara is a mezzo-soprano and artistic director of Chamber Opera Chicago, which Seid founded. The couple move their philanthropy through the Barbara and Barre Seid Foundation, which in did around $2.6 million in grantmaking in a recent year. Grantmaking areas of interest are education, arts and culture, and religious causes.

The foundation does not have a website to guide grantseekers. However, Chicago arts and culture, specifically music, has been a big winner of the couple's grantmaking. A steady stream of money has flowed to Chamber Opera Chicago, including grants totaling around $1 million alone in in a recent year. Support has also gone to Dead Writer's Theatre Collective, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Classical Symphony Orchestra, Northbrook Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and more. 

The couple also has an interest in education in Chicago. They have supported the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools in the past. Other support has gone to Chicago Academy for the Arts. They have provided funding to UChicago's Gary Becker Milton Friedman Institute for Research in Economics. Last decade, as well, significant money streamed to Shimer College, which is an American great books college in Chicago. The couple has sent money to local Chicago outfits that support youth such as Chicago Child Care Society. In terms of religious funding, the Seid Foundation has supported the Jewish United Fund and the Jewish Federation of Metro Chicago around that same time too. The foundation has also funded St. Irenaeus Church in Park Forest and human services outfits in Chicago such as United Way of Metro Chicago and the Salvation Army.

Grantseekers should review the foundation’s recent tax records to learn more about the funder’s local giving. The couple's philanthropy is laser-focused on Chicago, which is also where the foundation is based.

The foundation does not appear to accept unsolicited grant applications from nonprofits. The funder’s phone number to get in touch with the staff is 773-869-1111.

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