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About Us

Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley believed passionately that land, arts and collections are fundamental to a life well lived.

There are other needs, of course. But natural lands – preserved and restored on a landscape scale – are equally important. So, too, is a rich diversity of arts organizations that are as operationally strong as they are accomplished in their creativity. Same with collections – including books, maps, letters, photographs, art and artifacts – curated in such a way that they dynamically engage scholars and the general public alike.

Together, the land, arts and collections of the Chicago Region and the Lowcountry of South Carolina are fundamental to a good life because they reflect who we are as a people: past, present and future.

Our founders have passed on, but their children and grandchildren, along with non-family board members and staff, remain committed to their values, their compassion, their civic-mindedness.

We seek to partner with and support those organizations whose work leads to more land protected and restored, strong arts organizations producing vital art and more regional collections accessible to the public.