The Trask Society
Planned Giving at Yaddo
Over 100 years ago Spencer and Katrina Trask – through their last will and testament – bequeathed Yaddo to future generations of writers, composers, painters, and other creative artists. Their inspired bequest resulted in an extraordinary legacy, with thousands of artists from America and abroad benefiting from residencies at Yaddo.
Yaddo formed The Trask Society in 1999 to honor the gift of Spencer and Katrina Trask and to keep their vision alive. The Trask Society is a program recognizing those who have included in their estate plans a gift for The Corporation of Yaddo, such as a bequest in a will, a remainder interest in a revocable trust, a beneficiary designation of life insurance or retirement plan proceeds, or other forms of planned gifts. Many of these arrangements can lead to significant tax benefits for the donors and their heirs. Through gifts that range in size from a few hundred dollars to large gifts, each has helped Yaddo continue to be a leader in the field.
A bequest to Yaddo may memorialize a friend or relative, or carry in perpetuity the name of the donor. In addition to providing unrestricted funding to Yaddo, through certain bequests, a donor may designate funds towards programs or activities that are deemed most important, such as artist residencies or restoration projects. There is no minimum amount required for membership in The Trask Society. With their permission, members are acknowledged in publications and receive invitations to special programs and events.
In 2005, Yaddo received gifts of outstanding generosity from the estates of two longtime friends. Arts patron and Yaddo neighbor Alfred Z. Solomon, a frequent guest at Yaddo functions both in Saratoga Springs and New York City and an ardent supporter of Yaddo's mission for many years, bequeathed to Yaddo $100,000. A contribution of $10,450 came from the estate of esteemed poet, essayist, teacher, lecturer, editor, and publisher Peter Davison. Mr. Davison was a guest artist at Yaddo in 1986, 1996, and 1997, and for 25 years was a Member of The Corporation of Yaddo. He often said he had written some of his best work at Yaddo and that he considered it a duty to preserve for other artists the same "sublime place of work."
Making the decision to give a testamentary gift and to establish a lasting legacy is important. Yaddo appreciates that by doing members of The Trask Society have expressed their values, life experiences, and commitment to individual artists and creativity. As we plan for Yaddo's future, we are heartened by the knowledge that our family of supporters is dedicated to ensuring that Yaddo's mission and programs will continue well into its second century.
If you have already named Yaddo in your will or if you would like additional information on providing for Yaddo's future, you may do so by using the response card you can download here, or you may contact us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing or calling us at the address or telephone number on the Contacts page.
Photo credit: Dan Cooper (top left)