The Helena Rubinstein Foundation has announced that it will cease operations by the end of 2011 after distributing close to $130 million over nearly sixty years, primarily to education and community-based organizations in New York City.
Rubinstein, who built an international cosmetics empire, established the foundation to benefit the women and their children who enabled her to amass a fortune. Initially, she made scholarship grants to encourage young women to pursue higher education and non-traditional careers. While the majority of the foundation's giving was in support of education programs across the age spectrum — from helping children to achieve in school to enabling adults to reach their full potential through job training, internships, scholarships, and fellowship opportunities — it also provided support for arts education and health initiatives as well as direct services for low-income communities. Earlier this year, the foundation contributed its archive of more than six hundred photographs to the Fashion Institute of Technology and auctioned off twenty-seven portraits of Rubinstein by well-known artists such as Salvador Dali, Pavel Tchelitchew, and Marie Laurencin.
"We are proud to have supported many organizations working in education, arts-in-education, community services, and health," said Diane Moss, president of the foundation. "Some of the most satisfying initiatives and programs we have been involved in have been job training for the unemployed and career exposure for young people, understanding that linking people to jobs and career opportunities is the clearest path out of poverty."