The Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania (ICA) announced two landmark gifts to endow key curatorial positions: Daniel and Brett Sundheim have donated $3 million, of which $2.5 million will endow the chief curator position and $500,000 will go to a new fund dedicated to exhibition outreach and community engagement; and Andrea B. Laporte has donated $1.5 million to endow ICA’s associate curator position. With these gifts, ICA now has four of its key leadership positions endowed, including the museum’s director and all three of its senior curatorial positions.
“We’re incredibly grateful to University of Pennsylvania alumni Daniel and Brett Sundheim and to Andie Laporte for their visionary gifts, which enable ICA to remain at the forefront of contemporary art by securing long-term support for our curators and their ongoing work,” said Amy Sadao, director of ICA. “As our board chair, Andie has played an invaluable role in the continued growth of ICA and the University, including helping to endow ICA’s program curator position in 2012. The Sundheims are true advocates for contemporary art, and we’re very excited that a part of their transformative gift will go towards the creation of a fund aimed at connecting wider audiences with our dynamic exhibitions program.”
Mr. Sundheim has been on ICA’s board since 2012 and Ms. Sundheim has recently taken her husband’s place for a board seat. Their donation of $3 million will endow the chief curator position held by Anthony Elms, who joined ICA in 2011 from Performa, where he was part of the organizational team behind the 2011 visual art performance biennial in New York, along with other independent curatorial projects. A portion of this donation is also dedicated to endowing a new marketing and outreach fund, ensuring ICA’s programs are made accessible to audiences on campus, in Philadelphia and in the broader international art world. The Daniel and Brett Sundheim Exhibition Promotion Fund fulfills a long-range goal for ICA to establish a dependable source of support for promoting its year-round exhibitions, which are free for all.
Ms. Laporte became a committed volunteer at ICA after a long history of service to Penn and to the Walters Art Museum in her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. She has served as a board member for Penn Nursing since 2001, assuming the role of board chair in 2016, and she has served the University of Pennsylvania as a Trustee since 2010, gaining Emerita status in 2017. She joined ICA’s board in 2010 and immediately took on the role of board chair where she remained in place for six years. Ms. Laporte’s recent gift of $1.5 million endows ICA’s associate curator position, currently held by Kate Kraczon, who has been at ICA for more than 10 years. Ms. Kraczon is currently organizing pioneering post-minimalist and feminist artist Ree Morton’s first major retrospective in the U.S. in over three decades, which will open in September 2018; and is collaborating with ICA curator Alex Klein on the first solo U.S. museum exhibition of work by South Korean artist Suki Seokyeong Kang, opening this spring on April 27. Ms. Laporte will be honored at ICA’s Annual Benefit this April for her support to ICA.