Press Release

ICA Receives $500K Gift from David and Stephanie Simon to Endow Its Exhibitions and Support Public Engagement Initiatives

Philadelphia, PA
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Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn) announced today that Penn graduates David E. Simon, W'95, WG'01 and Stephanie B. Simon, C'96, W'96 have donated $500K to the ICA to provide for an endowment supporting the ICA’s exhibitions and funding for its long-term outreach and engagement programs. The David E. Simon and Stephanie B. Simon Endowed Exhibition Fund and the David E. Simon and Stephanie B. Simon Public Engagement Term Fund will provide annual support for exhibitions and public engagement initiatives that are at the core of the museum’s activities, ensuring that ICA remains a preeminent institution dedicated to contemporary art and curatorial practice.

ICA, together with Penn, also announced that David Simon has been appointed the new Chairman of the ICA’s Board of Overseers, effective immediately. Mr. Simon has served as a member of the Board of Overseers of the Institute of Contemporary Art since 2013. He is a Managing Director and Partner at Littlejohn & Co.

Before becoming involved with the ICA, Mr. Simon previously served on the Penn Fund Advisory Board for many years after having first been involved with his reunion campaigns. Mr. Simon and his wife are pleased to support many areas across the University of Pennsylvania. They take great pride in the numerous recipients of the David E. and Stephanie B. Simon Endowed Scholarship. First established in 2009, the Scholarship provides financial support to an undergraduate in the Wharton School or the College of Arts and Sciences who would otherwise be unable to meet the cost of a Penn education, with a preference for students from the greater metropolitan areas in which the Simons each grew up.

The Simons have been avid art collectors for almost two decades. With their focus largely on contemporary realist art, Mr. Simon shared: “We were drawn to ICA by Amy Sadao’s passionate vision for bringing the ICA to the next level and the ICA’s belief in the power of art and artists to inform and inspire.” This is their second major gift to the ICA, and in line with many of their professional and personal pursuits, the gift and their involvement has been “inspired by the ability to contribute to an institution that has the power and opportunity to transform something, specifically, how people not only see art, but how they see the world and others around them” said Mr. Simon.

“We are very grateful to University of Pennsylvania alumni David and Stephanie Simon for this extraordinary gift, which ensures ongoing support for our curators and their groundbreaking work that provides a platform for new and emerging artists and presents exhibitions that fearlessly explore the pressing issues of our time,” said Amy Sadao, Director of ICA. “As our newly appointed Board Chair, David will play an invaluable role in the continued growth of ICA and the University. The Simons are true advocates for contemporary art and we are thrilled that their gift will create opportunities for ICA to increase its outreach and deepen the connections between our audiences and our dynamic and pioneering exhibitions program.”  

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David and Stephanie Simon; Photo by Lynda Shenkman

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