Excerpts from the May 31, 2023 letter Board Chair Michael Straus sent to the Foundation’s staff, on behalf of the Board, celebrating Kathy Halbreich’s accomplishments as the Foundation’s leader and her focus as an Advisor on a number of philanthropic and legacy programs through December:
I am writing to you on behalf of the Board at this moment of transition to share some reflections on the past 5 1⁄2 years of Kathy’s tenure as our Executive Director. The transition is two-fold, as today marks Kathy’s last official day as ED, but also her first as Advisor. Looking back, it’s astonishing what’s been accomplished in this time under her visionary leadership…
Kathy has had a unique grasp on how the Foundation might reflect and carry forward Bob’s own values to our present day. She has thereby faithfully, energetically, and optimistically led us in fulfilling the Foundation’s mission and purpose, including by providing support to small to midsize arts and socially engaged organizations that are contrarian and experimental, even courageous, in driving towards equity. Her goal has always been for us to be the artists’ foundation; and her success in that effort is no more evident than in the creation and flourishing of the Artists Council, a collaborative venture that could not exist absent her own love of artists and their universal admiration for her….
Kathy has likewise always had the Board’s respect, appreciation, and confidence, whether in challenging times or not. The truth is that she has done far more than we ever asked or even thought to ask of her. We are deeply grateful that at the Board’s request Kathy has agreed to stay on through this year as Advisor.
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From Member of RRF's Artists Council, Paul Chan on Kathy Halbreich for the 2023 Friends of Artists Space Dinner honoring Kathy Halbreich and Yasunao Tone:
There is no greater friend to art and artists than Kathy. She has helped so many survive and flourish over the years that I call her "rainmaker." And how she does it with such discernment, intelligence, and open heartedness I don't know. Maybe she'll write a memoir someday and teach us a thing or two.