Mel, Rochelle and Leta Ramos

Director’s Welcome

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the Mel and Leta Ramos Family Foundation. My parents and I created the Foundation in 2017 to establish a means to carry on their work as artists and arts educators, but it wasn’t until the passing of my parents that my focus for their legacy really took shape. Since then, I have made it my commitment to continue their mission to ensure that all youth have access to an arts education. My mother, Leta Ramos, was an artist, a model, and a passionate arts educator. My father, Mel Ramos, was a professor, artist and Pop Art icon – from his early days as a student of Wayne Thiebaud, and the first historic “Pop Art” exhibit with Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein in 1963 – to his international exhibitions of supermodels and superheroes. Needless to say, I grew up in a house surrounded by artists and their works, with lively discussions, and most of all, a curiosity about the world and how, through art, I could make it a better place. The work of the Mel & Leta Ramos Family Foundation is dedicated to creating pathways and partnerships for exactly that purpose.

The Mel and Leta Ramos Family Foundation is a non-profit family foundation focused on supporting arts education programs such as scholarships, teaching artist opportunities, visual arts curriculum, youth projects and exhibitions by and for youth. In order to carry out this work, we rely on generous donors and like-minded philanthropic organizations to support us in our re-granting efforts in support of our Arts Education Initiative.

In 2019, we began our grant-making activities, and since then have supported more than 20 youth arts programs – servicing hundreds of youth through classroom and community out-reach – secured 525 art kits for after-school arts-based curriculum, funded teaching artists and non-profit arts leadership development, youth advisories and arts education programs. In addition, the Foundation supported student emergency funds and institutional fundraisers during COVID-19 relief drives through art auction donations of art works and direct contributions.  If the global pandemic taught us nothing else, it is that we are all connected, and that the well-being of one can support the well-being of many. It is well documented that an arts education improves overall resiliency of children as social-emotional learners, as critical thinkers, and as engaged citizens in life.

Our goal in supporting youth – all youth – is to ensure them access and the right to the nourishment and necessity of the arts. Please join us in realizing this vision in whatever ways you can. We’re so happy you found us here, and we welcome your contributions and feedback.

With gratitude,

Founder and CEO