OVERVIEW: La Vida Feliz Foundation is the philanthropic vehicle of Wall Streeter Aaron Sosnick. Grantmaking in the Los Angeles includes support for arts and culture, education, and community projects.
FUNDING AREAS: Arts & Culture, Education, Los Angeles 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. The foundation, though, holds significant assets and engages in substantial giving.
PROFILE: MIT graduate Aaron M. Sosnick runs A.R.T. Advisors, a statistical arbitrage fund that operates from the offices of Caxton Associates. Sosnick heeps a very low profile and has ties to both the east and west coasts, where both Los Angeles and New York have been significant sites of philanthropy. Sosnick moves his philanthropy through the La Vida Feliz Foundation which held some $433 million in assets and gave away close to $18 million in a recent year.
La Vida Feliz Foundation's Los Angeles grantmaking considers several areas including arts and culture, though most of this work takes place in New York City. Recent arts and culture grants in Los Angeles include a $25,000 grant to Friends of the Junior Arts Center in the 2013 fiscal year. Funds have also gone to Los Angeles Conservancy, a historic preservation organization, and Southern California Institute of Architecture.
Sosnick, through La Vida Feliz Foundation, has also supported education. University of Southern California has been a big winner, a recipient of $1 million in each of the last three most recent tax years available. Much of this support has involved Math for America Los Angeles, for which Sosnick has also raised funds through poker tournaments. Recent support also includes Partnership for Los Angeles Schools.
Sosnick is an avid biker who appears to be particularly interested in tapping into urban issues such as alternative transportation, civic space, and the environment. One example of this work is grantee Community Partners, whose vision is a "vibrant society in which individuals and institutions use knowledge, resources, and relationships to build equitable, democratic and thriving communities." A grant of $75,000 to Community Partners in the 2013 fiscal year supported its Move LA project, whose mission is to build a broad constituency that will advocate for the development of a comprehensive, diverse, robust, clean, and financially sound public transportation system for Los Angeles County and champion strategies to accelerate its implementation." Another grant to Community Partners supported Multicultural Communities for Mobility, which "advocates for safe, alternative transportation access in underserved communities of color within greater Los Angeles."
Other recent grantees in this area include Friends of Griffith Park, Friends of the Los Angeles River, Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition, Southern California Streets Initiative, and Longbeachize an outfit founded by Long Beach State students to "promote biking as an ecologically health conscious and invigorating alternative to local commuting." In 2014, a $400,000 grant also went to Mayor's Fund for Los Angeles.
- Aaron Sosnick, Trustee
The La Vida Feliz Foundation does not provide a clear avenue for getting in touch with Sosnick, but below is an address