As Yaddo enters its second century, it seeks annual support, contributions to its endowment and underwriting for specific projects to ensure that the artists' community will always be a place of inspiration.
Artists work at Yaddo free of charge. Every contribution is a gift of creative freedom to an individual artist. Gifts can be named, dedicated to someone’s memory, and directed to a discipline (photography, for instance, or poetry). Individual donors, foundations, and corporations can endow an artist’s residency in perpetuity with a significant gift, or underwrite one on an annual basis. Donors can also contribute to a fund for financial aid to be used for travel, child care or health care expenses so that artists who might otherwise not be able to accept a residency can do so. Support can also be directed toward artists' supplies and other creative equipment.
The creative process that Yaddo nurtures is deeply rooted in, and depends entirely on, a place: five principal buildings and one in development on four hundred protected acres in Saratoga Springs. Yaddo’s historic past and its plans for the future offer opportunities for patrons of the arts who are devoted to preservation and to innovation. Yaddo’s main buildings are nearly 150 years old. Yaddo needs to generate income to repair, restore, update, and maintain buildings, grounds, and infrastructure to provide first-rate conditions for the artists of today and tomorrow. To cover annual upkeep, improvements to basic infrastructure, and the renovation of existing buildings that house the artists and staff, Yaddo has created a special endowment and seeks contributions to its Facilities Fund. Recognizing that it must evolve as the arts evolve, and embracing this evolution, Yaddo is also developing a major new studio that will accommodate contemporary artists, emerging art forms, and collaborative and large-scale projects. Yaddo's first 21st-century studio will offer extraordinary opportunities to patrons eager to invest in the creation of cutting edge art.
In their charge to Yaddo's original trustees, the Trasks wrote of Yaddo's "larger influence." Elizabeth Ames, the community's executive director for its first half-century, took this to heart when she expressed the hope that "Yaddo will try in time to come not only to assist in the creation of true art but also to do its share in creating a critical and appreciative public." Yaddo is fulfilling this important part of its mission by drawing on its experience and reputation to develop public programs that promote an appreciation of the vital role the arts play in our culture and society.
Just as Yaddo contributed greatly to the culture of the 20th Century, writers and artists are using the time, the space, the solitude, the community, and the freedom that Yaddo provides to create the culture of the 21st Century. Becoming their patron by making a gift to Yaddo is a significant contribution to the quality of our culture.
Formed in 1999 to honor Yaddo's founders and add to their legacy, The Trask Society is composed of donors 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. These arrangements often yield significant tax benefits for donors and their heirs. They always benefit artists and the arts. 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, a donor may designate funds for programs or activites such as artists' residencies or restoration projects. No minimum amount is required for membership in The Trask Society. Members are invited to special programs and events and, with their permission, are acknowledged in publications for their enduring commitment to artistic excellence.