Established in 2007, La Vida Feliz Foundation is the philanthropic vehicle of Wall Streeter Aaron Sosnick. It's unclear how much Sosnick is worth but his foundation has grown rapidly since its founding and held some $433 million in assets in a recent year and gave away more than $18 million. Sosnick has ties to both the east and west coasts. On the east coast, New York City has been a big winner. On the west, Los Angeles receives a good chunk of the foundation's attention. Unfortunately for grantseekers La Vida Feliz Foundation doesn't have much of a web presence or a clear way to get in touch but here are a few must knows about the foundation's Los Angeles grantmaking:
1. A Number of Past Grantees Work to Improve Los Angeles Communities
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 past grantees in this area include Friends of Griffith Park, 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.
2. Arts and Culture in Los Angeles Has Been Supported
Past grants 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. Many of the foundation's other arts and culture grantees are in the Big Apple.
3. Support Has Also Gone to Education
Large streams of money have flowed to University of Southern California including $1 million in each of the past three tax years we have available. Much of this money has gone towards supporting Math for America Los Angeles. Sosnick has been supportive of Math for America on the national level as well and has played in poker tournaments to raise money for the outfit. Past support also includes Partnership for Los Angeles Schools.