What NYC Grantseekers Should Know About the Daniel and Estrellita Brodsky Family Foundation

 The met has been among the foundation’s beneficiaries. photo: Maurizio De Mattei/shutterstock

The met has been among the foundation’s beneficiaries. photo: Maurizio De Mattei/shutterstock

The Daniel and Estrellita Brodsky Family Foundation is one of many New York City funders that maintains a low profile and sometimes leaves local grantseekers guessing. Daniel’s father founded the Brodsky Organization, a company that has developed over 8,000 apartments in more than 80 rental, condo and co-op buildings. Daniel joined the family business in the early 1970s. Meanwhile, Estrellita Brodsky has spent substantial time and energy figuring out how to put her family’s wealth to best use for Latin American artists.

Although the foundation does not have a website to guide grantseekers, its recent tax forms offer insights into how this couple operates. Here are three things to keep in mind.

Museums and Hispanic Cultural Organizations Are Top Priorities

The Brodskys support quite a few interest areas, but museums and Hispanic cultural organizations almost always come out on top. Daniel has chaired the board of the Met and given millions to the institution over the years. In addition to these two primary focus areas, the couple occasionally supports health associations, education, and social services causes. Almost all of the foundation’s recent grants have been focused on New York, with just an occasional museum grant escaping to other big cities like Los Angeles or Philadelphia.

Latin American Artists Are in Focus

The Brodskys are big funders of the arts, which makes sense, because Estrellita is an art collector and art historian with a Ph.D. in art history from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts, where her dissertation focused on Latin American art. Estrellita has endowed the position of Latin American art curator at the Museum of Modern Art and discussed financing of Latin American art acquisitions with other prominent museums, as well. In interviews she has spoken about her passion for helping young Latin Americans feel pride in their culture’s artistic creations and appreciating their cultural heritage through art. It would be unsurprising to see more grant money go toward youth art initiatives in New York’s Latin American communities in the future.

Well-Established NYC Institutions Receive Funds

Outside the realm of Latin American art and Hispanic culture, it’s the big, well-established institutions that regularly receive the Brodsky’s support in New York City. The couple and their foundation have provided significant funding to MoMA, the Battery Conservancy, New York City Ballet, and the New York Botanical Garden. Thus far, it appears that Brodsky sticks to familiar names rather than start-up groups or barely known organizations in the five boroughs. Brodsky grants tend to range between $5,000 and $50,000, with the larger grants often reserved for the Met.

It’s not clear how receptive the Brodsky Foundation is to grantseekers. It does not have an online grant application system, so nonprofits should send any letters of inquiry by mail to 400 West 59th Street, 3rd Floor, New York, New York 10019-1105. To learn more about how and where the Brodsky Foundation gives, check out IP’s full profiles of this funder: