Vickie Morris: Passionate Philanthropist

Vickie Morris

 

 

Next week, we will be celebrating philanthropy. Derived from the Greek words “philos,” which means loving, and “anthropos,” which means humankind, philanthropy is just that: a love for humankind. It is centuries old and crosses cultures. Conceptually it is not simply about “giving” but about improving the well-being of humankind.

Each year, ArtsWestchester presents the Emily & Eugene Grant Arts Patron Award to “A Committed and Selfless Supporter of the Arts”. On April 11, at the Arts Award Luncheon, this award will be given to Victoria (Vickie) Morris – a philanthropist who distinguishes herself with her boundless enthusiasm for the arts. She will tell you that the arts are “powerful,” “transformational,” “a life force” and “worth living for” and that philanthropy is the “magic that makes it happen.”

As a couple, Vickie, and her adored late husband Steve, took great pleasure in supporting the arts and the environment. Some of the commitments that they made together were to Parsons Dance Company where Steve was Board Chair and Vickie was Chair of the International Council; New York Public Radio where they co-chaired the Campaign for Digital Innovation and the Bedford Playhouse where they were enthusiastic donors. On her own, Vickie has treasured her work with the Katonah Museum of Art, especially her role in bringing the Jacob Lawrence retrospective to fruition. At the Museum, Vickie was Board President from 2007 to 2010 and Chair of the Board of Overseers. She now serves as a Trustee Emerita. In addition to the Museum, Vickie serves on the Board of Bedford 2020, a small-but-mighty not-for-profit dedicated to battling and beating climate change. Recently, she joined Storm King’s External Affairs Committee.

Vickie believes that a healthy world, with access to the arts for everyone, is the world she wants to live in, and that it is worth her time, money and passionate personal commitment. To explain how deeply she cares about the arts, she cites the film Defiant Requium, a story about inmates of Terezin concentration camp — artists, musicians, poets and writers — who performed Verdi’s Requium in the face of their hardship. She says “The singing kept them alive.”

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