In Thursday’s (3/18) New York Times, Michael Barbaro reports, “Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, New York City’s richest man and biggest philanthropist, is quietly pulling the plug on an unusual program that has poured nearly $200 million of his fortune into nonprofit groups across the five boroughs, in a sign of major change under way in his charitable giving plans. His decision, which is not yet public, has set off alarm in the city’s arts and social services worlds, which depend heavily on his largesse and are grappling with deep budget cuts and a brutal fund-raising climate. Since he was first elected mayor in 2001, Mr. Bloomberg has provided money to hundreds of mostly small neighborhood, arts and cultural groups through the Carnegie Corporation of New York, a philanthropic trust, in a process that was remarkably informal and closely coordinated with City Hall. … The mayor and his aides declined to be interviewed. Asked if there were specific plans to replace the Carnegie gifts, which have helped support some 600 theaters, dance troupes, museums and other groups, Vartan Gregorian, Carnegie’s president, said he did not know of any.”

Posted March 19, 2010