The Pittsburgh Foundation

A. W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust Fund

Established: 6/17/1980

Pittsburgh financier and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Andrew W. Mellon established a large trust in 1930 that awarded nearly $200 million to Pittsburgh charities and organizations during its 50 year existence.

After his death in 1937, the Mellon Trust was administered by Theodore L. Hazlett Jr., considered by many as the legal architect of Pittsburgh's renaissance in the late 1940s. Theodore was a former Executive Director and Secretary of the city's Urban Redevelopment Authority and an ardent supporter of regional arts. He died on July 8, 1979. Following his death, the A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust was dissolved.

As a result of the dissolution of the trust, money gifts were divided among some 27 Pittsburgh institutions and the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. This charitable fund was established with The Pittsburgh Foundation as a result of a $2 million gift from the trust.

It was agreed that the fund should support "small" arts organizations in the region, small as defined in 1980 as organizations with budgets of less than $250,000, or to the arts/education programs of local schools or colleges including performance or exhibition components which are open to the public. The budget ceiling was later revised in 1994 to include organizations with budgets up to $500,000.

Type of Fund

  • Field of Interest