An enduring link between Grace Kelly’s America and Prince Rainier’s Monaco, the Princess Grace Foundation-USA enhances Her iconic legacy and builds upon the connection between the Principality of Monaco, the Princely Family, and the United States, celebrating excellence and embracing an exceptional community of world-class artists, philanthropists and entertainment.
Under The High Patronage of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II
Headshot of Prince Albert II, Princess’s Grace’s son and ruling Prince of Monaco.
Prince Albert II with the Foundation’s CEO, Brisa Carleton.
Entering A New Era
The Foundation’s Illustrious Origins
Following Princess Grace’s death in 1982, Prince Rainier III of Monaco mobilized a group of individuals to establish the Princess Grace Foundation-USA as a tribute to Her legacy. From its inception, the Princess Grace Foundation–USA was fortunate to have dedicated supporters, not only in Princess Grace’s family, but in Her many friends and admirers including founding board members Gant Gaither, Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant, John Johnson, Princess Caroline, Princess Stephanie, William Rogers, Mary Wells Lawrence, John F. Lehman, and Lynn Wyatt.
The Board of Trustees, with Robert Hausman as its first chairman, incorporated the Princess Grace Foundation-USA as a not-for-profit public charity. Though entirely independent, the Princess Grace Foundation-USA cooperates with the Princess Grace Foundation, Monaco, founded by Princess Grace and now under the presidency of Her daughter Her Royal Highness, The Princess of Hanover.
President and Mrs. Reagan were present in 1984 when the first grants were awarded during an event-filled weekend in Washington D.C., including a White House reception. The tradition continues each year as new recipients are honored at an annual Awards Gala in New York City, Los Angeles and Monaco.
Princess Grace Foundation board member and actor Cary Grant with Grace Kelly in a publicity still for ‘To Catch A Thief’, directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
Princess Grace’s love of flowers led to the establishment of the Garden Club of Monaco, the Princess Grace Rose Garden, and the official naming of the Princess of Monaco Rose.
Grace Kelly with Frank Sinatra, Princess Grace Foundation member and actor, standing together in a scene from the film ‘High Society’.
Over the past 40 years, the Foundation has awarded to nearly 900 theater, dance, and film artists nationwide. It continues to fund its inaugural disciplines and has expanded its grants program through generous Legacy Gifts to include playwriting and choreography grants within the theater and dance categories. In 1989, the Foundation added the film category to the grants program. In 2003, the Foundation furthered the commitment to its artists by creating the Special Project Awards category. These grants, offered only to Princess Grace Award winners, provide project-specific funding for consequential artistic opportunities. In 2008, the Princess Grace Foundation-USA formed a partnership with the Baryshnikov Arts (BA) to provide further support for Princess Grace Award winners. The Works in Progress Residency enables these artists to explore, experiment, and push the boundaries of their work in an environment that focuses on process over product. The Foundation hopes to foster a community network for continued support of recipients as they progress in their careers.
In 2005, the Board of Trustees inaugurated the Prince Rainier III Award, in honor of the man who helped begin the Foundation. This Award is presented to eminent artists who have not only been highly successful in their careers, but have made significant humanitarian contributions to their fields. Mikhail Baryshnikov (2005), Twyla Tharp (2006), George Lucas (2007), Glenn Close (2008), Mandy Patinkin (2009), Denzel and Pauletta Washington (2010), Julie Andrews (2011), Lynn Wyatt (2012), Cicely Tyson (2013) Dick Van Dyke (2014), Robert Redford and Sibylle Szaggars Redford (2015), Queen Latifah (2016) and James Cameron (2017) have received this honor, which includes a grant to the philanthropic organization of their choice.
As the Princess Grace Foundation-USA enters its second quarter-century, the future of the Foundation is secure. With John F. Lehman, Jr. at the helm and H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco serving as Vice-Chairman, the dedicated board supports the Foundation’s work. The organization is financially stable and looks forward to substantial growth while remaining faithful to the principles of its original mission to support career long excellence in emerging artists.