Foundation History

The Claire Rosen and Samuel Edes Foundation was founded in 1986 with the broad mandate of supporting projects to benefit education and the arts, to alleviate poverty and unemployment, and to promote initiatives in the areas of human and civil rights, health and nutrition services, housing, and international peace and security.

The work of the Foundation emulates the lives of its founders, Claire Rosen Edes and Samuel Edes, long-time Chicago employment lawyers whose professional activities were dedicated to improving the lives of workers and their families by bringing economic justice to the workplace and social justice to our nation. So, too, the Foundation’s current initiatives reflect Claire and Sam’s unremitting passion for art in all its creative forms. They were avid and successful collectors of paintings, lithographs, watercolors, artistic glass, and sculpture; they were devoted patrons of theatre, symphony, opera; and they travelled extensively throughout the world in search of new and enriching artistic experiences.

Although the Foundation’s assets are modest, its directors—led by the Foundation’s President, Nik B. Edes—have developed a funding strategy intended to have a big impact in promoting the careers of young artists with a connection to Chicago.