behind the Rockefeller Institute of Medical Research (now Rockefeller University), where scientists were conducting research that would provide the expertise behind public health programs throughout the world. The foundation's reputation stems from its massive programs to combat malaria and yellow fever and to promote the "green revolution" of cultivating high-yield wheat, corn, and rice in the third world.
It was in this context-of an institution that could almost single-handedly eradicate diseases in certain areas and orchestrate huge agricultural programs-that an arts program was begun at the Rockefeller Foundation. The foundation had previously awarded grants in the arts to select institutions, but the formalization of an arts program did not take place until 1963.3 Conceived as a program in "cultural development," it was also initiated as a response to a general expansion in the arts in the early 1960s, symbolized by the building of Lincoln Center in New York City (a project realized with the considerable involvement of and funds provided by John D. Rockefeller III).
While the sciences will always predominate at the foundation, funding of the arts has had a wide-ranging impact. The arts program gradually developed into a multidisciplinary program that supports both institutions and individual artists in music, dance, theater, literature, video, film, and the visual arts. Although it increasingly channels its funds through arts organizations and via panels, the arts program has been ideologically geared since its inception toward the funding of individual artists, a doctrine that evokes the philosophy of the two men who have directed the program, Norman Lloyd and Howard Klein, both avant-garde musicians themselves. In the world of arts funding, the Rockefeller name embodies prestige as well as a certain mythology. Money from the Rockefeller Foundation is a ticket to other funding possibilities and acts as a stamp of approval in the art world.
The Rockefeller Foundation began funding the media arts in the mid-1960s. In a field that receives little support from the art market, the role of this foundation has been incalculable. As in other fields, when a philanthropic organization of this magnitude graces a discipline with its dollars, people take notice and are more inclined to follow suit, In the relatively tiny world of video art, the interest and support of the Rockefeller Foundation has been instrumental in shaping and guiding many of the directions taken by the community as a whole.
The person responsible for that support and the directions it encouraged is Howard Klein, who worked at the foundation from 1967 to 1986, as director for arts from 1973 to 1983 and deputy director for arts and humanities from 1983 to 1986. The survey of the funding of video by the foundation since 1965, which accompanies this article, shows not only the
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