Founded in 2000, the Onassis Foundation USA was the first international affiliate of the Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation. For over 19 years, it has been dedicated to culture, community, and education, with projects that can effectively inspire social change and justice across borders. By collaborating with Onassis Stegi in Athens and educational and cultural institutions throughout the Americas, Onassis USA presents theatrical and dance productions, art exhibits, conversations, lectures, and other initiatives, triggering discussions about democratic values, human rights, civil rights, and the ever-changing realities facing today’s citizens on a global scale. Onassis Foundation USA runs through two major initiatives, one cultural for the general public through its Onassis Cultural Center New York, and the other educational for scholars and students in partnership with educational institutions through the Onassis Humanities Impact Program.
Exhibitions and Visual Art
With a new emphasis on the present, the Onassis USA presents the work of established, emerging, and newly discovered artists from Greece and around the world.
Onassis Festival NY
Launched in 2015, the annual festival of arts and ideas—Onassis Festival NY explores the relevance of the classical tradition to the present day through innovative and adventurous programs across disciplines and for all ages.
An extensive program of public events—conversations, concerts, lectures, readings, symposia, theatrical performances, and films—introduces important new and established international talent and creates opportunities for collaboration between artists, writers, and scholars from Greece, the United States, and around the world. All events are free and open to the public.
The Onassis Cultural Center New York partners with prominent cultural institutions in New York City such as BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), St. Ann's Warehouse, the Public Theater, the New York Public Library, and Pioneer Works, among others, and continues to expand its collaborations and partnerships..
The central mission of the Onassis Foundation USA is the promotion of Greek culture through cultural and educational initiatives. The Onassis Humanities Impact Program (HIP) is designed to fulfill this mission by partnering with and supporting educational institutions to facilitate scholarly engagement with the Hellenic tradition, to educate students and the general public, and to reach new, diverse, and unexpected audiences.
HIP, started in 2018, is forming partnerships in the following areas:
- Education at the intersection of the Humanities and STEM professional disciplines
- Onassis Visiting Professors, to teach quarter/semester-long courses for credit
- Community College Education and Training
- Diversity in Classical Studies
- Prison Education in the Humanities
- Digital Humanities
Through the Onassis Series in Hellenic Culture, Oxford University Press publishes books based on original scholarly research presented within the University Seminars Program. Each book is authored by an Onassis Visiting Scholar.
Our Parent Organization—The Onassis Foundation
The Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation was established in 1975 in accordance with Aristotle Onassis’s will, which directed that one-half of his fortune be dedicated to the public welfare in memory of his son, Alexander Onassis (1948-1973). All activities of the Foundation are funded exclusively by an institutionally independent business Foundation named Alexander S. Onassis Foundation, based in Vaduz, Liechtenstein.
Onassis Cultural Center Athens
There is also a renowned, architecturally impressive Onassis Cultural Center in Athens. This cultural landmark offers events across the whole spectrum of the arts, from theater, dance, music, film, and visual arts, to the written word. The Center emphasizes contemporary cultural expression, supporting Greek artists, cultivating international collaborations, and educating children and people of all ages through lifelong learning.