Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Philanthropist's Coming Out

Ever wonder what it's like when a wealthy person "comes out" as a major philanthropist? Well, today's New York Times paints such a picture in the story of Lisa Maria Falcone. She's the 40-year-old wife of a billionaire who's passionate about the arts in New York City. The most interesting part of the story, however, is the very subtle hints at philanthropy as an elite status symbol. Her spontaneous $10 million contribution to the High Line, certainly is generous, but would it be better spent addressing the needs of the city's under served populations? Her love of the arts comes from a lack of cultural experiences as a poor child. Considering her upbringing in a poor neighborhood, I would think that contributions to social services would better serve poor children.

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