ARTnews: Ted Berger Champions New Fund to Elevate Underrepresented Artists

ArtsConnection’s founding board member, Ted Berger, earned the moniker of “angel on the shoulders of thousands of struggling artists” from the New York Times. Once again Ted lived up to this angelic role by collaborating with artist Corina Larkin to conceive the Trellis Fund, a new family foundation that recently opened its doors.

The Trellis Fund aims to bolster the livelihoods and artistic endeavors of underrepresented artists by offering grants of $100,000 with no strings attached.

“No one embodies unwavering dedication to artists more than Ted,” said Rachel Watts, executive director of Arts Connection, where Ted has served on the board since its inception in 1979. “He stands as a towering advocate for artists and their indispensable role in our society.”

Ted joined the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) in 1973, developing its Artists in Residence program and was named Executive Director in 1980. He remains Executive Director Emeritus since he retired at the end of 2005. He has been involved in helping to create many national and local initiatives, including ArtsWire, the NYC CETA Artists Project, the Montauk and Orcas Conferences for Support for Individual Artists, the National Campaign for Freedom of Expression, NYCreates, Studio in a School, and the Urban Artist Initiative/NYC.

Kariny Padilla (left), Student Art Program alumni, and the Hon. Laurie Cumbo (right), Commissioner of Cultural Affairs for the City of New York, presenting the Honoree Award to Ted Berger at the last ArtsConnection Annual Benefit Gala.

Photo: Brian Hatton