The Whitemarsh Art Center is a 53 year-old organization with a mission to enrich the community by fostering inspiration, appreciation and engagement in the arts for people of all ages and abilities. In 2014, the Center was operating out of a partially condemned building with only 800 square feet of usable space when it was awarded a sizeable bequest from a former student. Unfortunately, this bequest was challenged in a lawsuit putting the organization’s fiscal health in danger. The art center reached out to the Arts + Business Council to engage a volunteer attorney through the Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts’ (PVLA) pro bono platform. ABC matched the organization with Robert Louis, a respected trust attorney in the region.
In addition to donating over $50,000 in legal services, Robert was responsive, humorful and a true advocate. As a result of his work, the art center was able to secure the full amount of the gift, which it is currently using to build a new, one story, 3,000 square foot center. Robert has been a PVLA volunteer since 1991, and previously served as PVLA’s president for four years. Robert has accepted volunteer assignments on a total of 58 cases – including 15 full service representations – involving issues ranging from artist tax and estate planning to procuring tax exempt status for arts-related nonprofits. Robert has also written several articles on artist estate planning which have appeared in numerous publications. In addition to his work with PVLA, Robert is a board member and was president of the Senior Arts Initiative, an organization which assists older artists in managing their artistic legacy.
May 23, 2018 marks the 33rd annual Arts + Business Council Awards Celebration, a major moment for milestones. Together with you, our “Partners in Imagination,” we’ll be honoring the exceptional leaders, innovators, partnerships and volunteers below, who work to make our region culturally vibrant and economically strong. To purchase ticket packages and individual tickets, please click here.
The 2018 Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts Volunteer of the Year Award is generously supported by: