Amos and Barbara Hostetter

NET WORTH: $3.4 billion

SOURCE OF WEALTH: Continental Cablevision

FUNDING AREAS: Arts, Climate Change, Education, Global

OVERVIEW: Amos and Barbara Hostetter co-founded the Barr Foundation in the late 1980s. The foundation invests in human, natural, and creative potential, serving as thoughtful stewards and catalysts. Based in Boston, Barr focuses regionally, while selectively engaging nationally to elevate the arts, advance solutions for climate change, and to connect all students to success.

BACKGROUND: Amos Hostetter Jr. graduated from Amherst College and received an MBA from Harvard University. In the 1960s, he invested in a cable TV company that eventually became Continental Cablevision, once the third-largest cable TV company in the country. He sold the company for $11 billion in 1996. A few years later, he helped AT&T buy back the business for $44 billion.


ARTS & CREATIVITY: One of Barr’s grantmaking areas is Arts & Creativity, elevating the arts and enabling “creative expression to engage and inspire a dynamic, thriving Massachusetts.” Since 2013, Barr has partnered with ArtPlace America to advance the potential of creative placemaking. Grantees have included American Antiquarian Society, American Repertory Theatre Company, and Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

CLIMATE: The foundation’s Climate area prioritizes Clean Energy and Mobility. Barr recently launched a two-year exploratory initiative to ensure Boston is adequately prepared for climate change. Grantees have included Conservation Law Foundation and the Marion Institute.

EDUCATION:  Barr’s education category seeks to increase the number of youth who achieve secondary and post-secondary success. Barr’s grantmaking supports places like Massachusetts Afterschool Partnership, National Academy Foundation, and Phoenix Charter Academy Foundation.

LOOKING FORWARD: Expect this billionaire couple’s active grantmaking to continue through their Barr Foundation. In a recent year, the foundation gave away nearly $50 million.