The Fund for Arts and Culture in Central and Eastern Europe

817 Mackall Avenue
McLean, VA 22101
Tel: (703)893-6016
Fax: (703)448-1270
Contact: Jillian Poole, President

Founded in 1991, the Fund for Arts and Culture in Central and Eastern Europe is a nonprofit U.S. corporation whose mission is to “respond to invitations to assess the needs of major [Central and East European] cultural institutions and to match expertise to those needs.” Primarily through consulting and advisory services, the Fund provides assistance in the fields of nonprofit organization planning, public relations, marketing, fundraising, management, and governance. Through short-term, on-site visits to host institutions, volunteer consultants help draft development programs, plan organizational strategies, provide training courses, and participate in roundtable discussions and seminars. Since 1991, 37 Fund consultants have given their time, spending 747 days with host arts and cultural institutions in four countries. Continuing consultation is provided through ongoing communications between the host institution and the Fund consultant and return visits as needed. The Fund does not provide grants to individuals or organizations and does not support individual artists.

The Fund’s president is Jillian Poole, a consultant in fundraising and institutional development. Poole was chief fundraiser for the John F. Kennedy Center of Performing Arts in Washington D.C. for 19 years and adjunct professor of arts management at The Graduate School of American University. The Fund’s board of advisors includes Wendy Luers, president of The Foundation for Civil Society; pianist Garrick Ohlsson (first American winner of the Chopin Competition); playwright Peter Schaffer; and Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana. Governed by five officers in consultation with its 26-member board of advisors, the Fund relies on a network of volunteer country directors for the implementation of specific projects. Since 1991, 34 volunteer Fund consultants have worked with arts and cultural institutions in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Russia.

Highlights of the Fund's recent activities include:

Czech Republic

Hungary Poland


The work of the Fund has been supported by substantial donations of individual professional services (valued at $290,000 in 1996) and corporate contributions from Lufthansa German Airlines, Marriott Hotels, and others. While originally established as a short-term project, the Fund is clearly capable of at least another three-five years of creative work. As President Poole stated in the Fund’s 1996 Annual Report: “The collapse of communism, heralded as it was, left enormous lacunae in the social fabric. The cultural institutions, with tremendous energy and great imagination, are filling some of those gaps in remarkably ingenious ways. It is our joy to help contribute to that effort.”

This article is from the November/December 1996 issue of
Civil Society ... East and West

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Last updated: May 1997

Center for Civil Society International