The Ruth Foundation for the Arts (Ruth Arts) is dedicated to meeting the evolving needs and lived experiences of artists, communities, and arts organizations whose work is anchored by visual arts, performing arts, and arts education.

Based in Milwaukee and national in scope, Ruth Arts honors our benefactor Ruth DeYoung Kohler II (1941–2020) with inventive approaches to philanthropy that are rooted in creativity, experimentation, and access.

Ruth Arts currently supports a dynamic cultural landscape in three distinct ways: grant programs for organizations nominated via Artist Choice, continuing Ruth’s personal giving, and an invite-only initiatives program designed as multi-year thinking partnerships.

We remain curious.


For all press inquiries, please contact press@rutharts.org.

For all general inquiries, please contact info@rutharts.org.

Please sign up for our newsletter for information and announcements related to our programs:


As a new foundation still building capacity, we are not currently accepting unsolicited proposals.


  • Karen Patterson

    Executive Director

  • Kim Nguyen

    Program Director

  • Heidi Wirth

    Operations Director

  • Rachel Reichert

    Residency Manager

  • Zola Yi

    Manager of Grant

  • Symphony Swan-Zawadi

    Manager of Public Initiatives

  • Sara Caron

    Executive Coordinator

Board of Trustees

  • Susan Flader

  • Dawn Ripkey

  • Paul Tilleman


  • Deana Haggag

    Strategic Advisor

  • Norah JonesPrincipal & Founder

    C3 Legal

  • Terri Yoho

    Trustee Liaison


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