Princess Grace Foundation Announces 2023 Awardees and Scholarship Recipients

Princess Grace Foundation Announces 2023 Awardees and Scholarship Recipients

At the recent December 6, 2023 Princess Grace Foundation-USA Board of Trustees meeting, it was shared that Brisa Carleton will transition away from her position as CEO of the Princess Grace Foundation-USA. Brisa will continue to serve on the Board of Trustees, and continue her service as an active arts patron while stepping away from the day-to-day operational activities. In this phase of transition, the Board of Trustees has appointed Diana Kemppainen as the successor. With over 15 years of dedicated involvement in guiding the Princess Grace Awards and grants program, Diana will assume the role of President/Chief Operating Officer and Acting CEO. While leadership at the Princess Grace Foundation is transitioning, the Princess Grace Foundation remains steadfast in its commitment to upholding the philanthropic legacy of Princess Grace of Monaco, and its primary mission of supporting extraordinary artists working in theater, dance, and film.

Please see below for the heartfelt farewell from Brisa Carleton and the introduction of President & CEO, Diana Kemppainen.


Over the past five years, it has been my honor to carry forward Princess Grace’s remarkable legacy, ensuring that her influence and impact continue to inspire new generations. I am excited to share that I will remain actively engaged with the Foundation as a member of the Board of Trustees while moving on from my day-to-day role.

When I initially joined this organization, I was entrusted with the mission to usher in a new era, including a complete transformation of our business model. Our aim was clear: to secure PGF’s ongoing financial sustainability, thereby strengthening our ability to support artists and foster their growth.

I want to extend my gratitude to HSH Prince Albert II, our dedicated Board of Trustees, our incredible community of donors, and, of course, our exceptional staff. Together, we navigated a period of transition that was made even more dramatic with the advent of COVID. Change is never easy, and it requires the faith and determination of a passionate group of individuals who recognize the necessary steps to ensure the Princess Grace Foundation remains vibrant and impactful for the next 40 years and beyond.

The fruits of our collective labor are evident in the pioneering new business model we have crafted, founded on three crucial pillars:

Relevance: This pillar encompasses our Grace Influential events, esteemed luxury partnerships, and our remarkable global community of Crown Patrons.

Revenue: We proudly introduce our groundbreaking luxury-for-good brand, Grace de Monaco, as part of our commitment to financial sustainability.

Impact: Our primary goal remains supporting artists and continuing to fund and mentor future generations of theater, dance, and film artists.

I am pleased to announce my successor, Diana Kemppainen, who has been an consistent pillar of our organization for the past 15 years. Diana’s unique qualifications make her exceptionally well-suited to lead the Foundation into the future.

As for my own journey, you may be wondering what lies ahead. I will continue my work in producing for Broadway, pursuing my passion for the arts and other entrepeneurial endeavors.

Your continued support has been instrumental in our success, and I am grateful for the trust and partnership we have forged. Thank you for being a crucial part of the Princess Grace Foundation’s journey. Together, we have laid the foundation for a vibrant and impactful future. Going forward, you can reach out to me at


Brisa Carleton


It is my distinct pleasure to write my inaugural letter as President of the Princess Grace Foundation. As many of you know, I am stepping into this role after 15+ years within the Princess Grace Foundation where my primary focus has been our main philanthropic mission; guiding, in collaboration with our Arts Advisory Council, the Princess Grace Awards, and grant-based initiatives. I take immense pride in the revitalization of our Awards program, the development of new grant opportunities, and the fostering of enduring relationships with our Princess Grace Award winners and artistic leaders in the field. Prior to my tenure at the Princess Grace Foundation, I had the pleasure of being at Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival, and pursuing a certificate in arts non-profit management at the University of Washington. I look forward to leveraging my expertise in arts management and experience at the Princess Grace Foundation as we embark on this new chapter.

Thank you H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco and our devoted Board of Trustees for entrusting me with the next step for the Princess Grace Foundation. We remain committed to charting the trajectory guided by our three vital pillars:

Relevance: celebrating Princess Grace’s legacy by fostering our global community and partnerships.

Revenue: building financial sustainability through our key Patrons programs and Grace de Monaco

Impact: upholding our primary mission to support extraordinary artists and nurture the next generations of theater, dance, and film artists.

Alongside assuming my new role, I am delighted to announce elevated appointments within our esteemed team. Patricia Leonard assumes the position of Chief Philanthropy Officer, and Catharina Nystrom takes on the position of Chief Relationship Officer. These promotions are a testament to their outstanding contributions in guiding our philanthropic endeavors.

Amidst these transitions, the essence of our work at the Princess Grace Foundation remains unwavering – honoring the indelible legacy of Princess Grace, and championing our mission of identifying and supporting extraordinary artists.

As we close out 2023, the Princess Grace Foundation is looking ahead to a bright future. In 2024, we will mark four decades years of grantmaking. We will commemorate this milestone through celebrations throughout the year, culminating in our Princess Grace Awards Gala on October 24, in the presence of H.S.H. Prince Albert of Monaco and honoring the 2023 and 2024 Princess Grace Award winners.

Thank you for being a vital member of the Princess Grace Foundation. Wishing you a merry and bright holiday season.

Warm regards,

Diana Kemppainen