OVERVIEW: La Vida Feliz Foundation is the philanthropic vehicle of Wall Streeter and New York resident Aaron Sosnick. The foundation's grantmaking in the city includes support of arts and culture, education, human services, and community projects.
FUNDING AREAS: Arts & Culture, Human Services, Education, New York Community
IP TAKE: La Vida Feliz Foundation and its funder Sosnick fly well under the radar and there's no clear avenue for getting in touch.
PROFILE: MIT graduate Aaron M. Sosnick runs A.R.T. Advisors, a statistical arbitrage fund that operates from the offices of Caxton Associates. Sosnick keeps a very low profile and lives in Manhattan, but also has ties to the West Coast, where Los Angeles and the Bay Area serve as other important sites of philanthropy. Sosnick moves his philanthropy through the La Vida Feliz Foundation, which held some $469 million in assets and gave away over $20 million in a recent year. Both assets and giving have been going up in recent years.
La Vida Feliz Foundation's New York City grantmaking funds several areas including arts and culture. Recent arts and culture grants include a $25,000 grant to City Lore in the 2013 fiscal year. City Lore describes itself as "a New York City-based cultural heritage/folklife nonprofit organization. Other recent grantees include Esse Aficionado, a dance company, Howl Arts, "a nonprofit organization dedicating to preserving the past and celebrating the contemporary culture of the East Village and Lower East Side," Municipal Art Society of New York, Make Music New York, Third Street Music School Settlement and Coney Island USA, "a not for profit arts organization dedicated to the cultural and economic revitalization of the Coney Island neighborhood." Coney Island USA received a $90,000 grant in a recent fiscal year.
Sosnick, through La Vida Feliz Foundation, has also supported human services outfits. The antipoverty giant Robin Hood Foundation received a $200,000 grant recently. He has supported Catholic Charities, Project Renewal, "a New York City nonprofit organization that helps homeless and low-income men and women who often have a drug addiction, mental illness," and Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners. Sosnick has been especially steady with his support of Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners, which used to be called Where Credit Is Due, and is the first outfit that La Vida Feliz Foundation funded when it was established in 2007.
In education ,Sosnick has recently funded outfits such as Inner City Scholarship Fund, Children's Storefront, and Urban Assembly, "a non-profit organization that creates and serves a family of New York City public secondary schools." It's worth noting that Sosnick has been strongly supportive of Math for America, particularly in Los Angeles. Sosnick has also supported Math for America through poker tournament fundraisers.
Sosnick's philanthropy involves a number of outfits in the New York community that work in issues of transportation, civic space, and the environment. According to available tax records, Sosnick has given $1 million over three years to New York Landmarks Conservancy. Support has also recently gone to Fund for the City of New York, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Outstanding Renewal Enterprises, Recycle-A-Bicycle, Historic District Council, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, and Transportation Alternatives.
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The La Vida Feliz Foundation does not provide a clear avenue for getting in touch with Sosnick, but below is an address:
La Vida Feliz Foundation
501 Silverside Rd., Ste. 123
Wilmington, DE 19809