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. 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. So, too, the Foundation’s initiatives reflect Claire and Sam’s unremitting passion for art in all its creative forms, as well as social and economic justice.

For eight years, the Foundation supported the work of emerging artists through the Edes Foundation Prize, a significant cash award for graduates of Chicago art programs. After supporting the development of work of 32 artists across a variety of disciplines, the Foundation is concluding the project and donating remaining funds to sustainable hunger initiatives.

PeriactinThe Foundation also supported the development of young conductors through the Sir Georg Solti Conducting Apprenticeship, which it maintained with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.