1880 Century Park East
Los Angeles, CA
90067 US

The Skylark Foundation is committed to encouraging innovation, striving for social justice, and supporting diversity. We award grants to organizations or projects that translate these values into strategically designed and executed activities.

Learn About Skylark Founder Blake Byrne

Art was always a passion for Blake Byrne but he began collecting in earnest in 1988 when his focus shifted to cutting-edge contemporary art.

As his passion for art came to be paralleled by his passion for philanthropy, he founded The Skylark Foundation.

John Sonsini

John Sonsini
Blake, 2005
Oil on canvas, 72 x 60
Collection of Blake Byrne


The Skylark Foundation awards grants to organizations or projects that translate our values of innovationsocial justice and diversity into strategically designed and executed activities.

The Skylark Foundation is currently focused on one major project: Open This End, a two-year traveling exhibition of contemporary art composed of selected works from the Blake Byrne Collection. It includes gifts of art from the collection that have been donated to the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles and The Nasher Museum at Duke University, as well as works from the current collection. Learn more…


The Skylark Foundation, a private family foundation, was founded in 1995 by Blake Byrne upon his retirement from the broadcast industry. The foundation board members are Mr. Byrne and his two children, John Byrne and Jocelyn Byrne. The focus of the foundation has been to serve the communities where the family live: Los Angeles, California; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Charlotte, North Carolina.

Barbara Schwan is the Executive Director of The Skylark Foundation. She has overseen the organization and production of the exhibition Open This End: Contemporary Art from the Collection of Blake Byrne, which travels to four universities and colleges between 2015 and 2016. She also is the curator and registrar of the Blake Byrne Collection.

Organizations we have supported include:

Los Angeles, California
Gay & Lesbian Elder Housing (GLEH)
Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency (JTHAR)
City At Peace, Los Angeles
Healthcare and Elder Law Programs (H.E.L.P)
Jeff Griffith Center, Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center
Justice by Uniting in Creative Energy (J.U.i.C.E)
The Trevor Project

New Mexico
International Land Sensitive Art Foundation (iLSAF)
Environment New Mexico
The Quivira Coalition
Warehouse 21
Santa Fe Watershed Association
The Wildlife Center

Charlotte, North Carolina
Carolina Children’s Home
Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry
Crisis Assistance Ministry
Jacob’s Ladder
Regional AIDS Interfaith Network
Freedom School Partners
YWCA of the Central Carolinas Transitional Housing Programs


The Skylark Foundation is focusing its grant making on an art education and philanthropy project from 2013 – 2016. We will not be accepting applications for other funding until 2016.

At that time, we will resume funding in our three primary geographic regions and with a refreshed philanthropic vision around our core areas of emphasis.

Los Angeles, California
Services for the elderly, services for homeless LGBT teenagers and artist in residence programs.

New Mexico
Funding based on ongoing dialogue and dynamic response to the evolving challenges facing communities and ecologies in need.

Charlotte, North Carolina
Services for people in crisis-–with a strong emphasis on education.

As the time approaches when new applications for funding are being accepted, the website will be updated with clarified focus areas and instructions on how to apply.

Traditionally, to be eligible for funding, an applicant must be tax-exempt for federal law purposes, and operated and organized so that it does not discriminate in the hiring of staff or the provision of services on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin or disability.

The Skylark Foundation does not make grants for:

Individual Scholarships
Operating Fund Drives
Debt Reduction
Political Events
Capital Building Campaigns



1880 Century Park East, Suite 1404t: (310) 271-9700
 Los Angeles, CA 90067e: Email Us



Open This End Exhibition Preview

Open This End:
Contemporary Art from the Collection of Blake Byrne 

Joseph R. Wolin, Curator

Organized and Sponsored by The Skylark Foundation

Open this End, 1968
Andy Warhol
Collection of Blake Byrne


Exhibition Tour:
Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
Durham, North Carolina
February 19 – July 12, 2015

Ohio State University Urban Arts Space
Columbus, Ohio
August 25 – November 7, 2015

Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University
New York, New York
January 20 – March 12, 2016

Ronna and Eric Hoffman Gallery of Contemporary Art, Lewis & Clark College
Portland, Oregon
September 8 – December 11, 2016


Exhibition Overview
An exhibition of both iconic and lesser-known works from thirty-eight of the most significant and compelling artists of the last fifty years, Open this End: Contemporary Art from the Collection of Blake Byrne will trace a number of intertwined narratives in the history of recent art, from the 1960s to the present. The exhibition’s title comes from a 1962 painting by Andy Warhol, the earliest work in the show, and frames the exhibition as a present to be unpacked, a surprise that audiences will delight in discovering.

The exhibition has been curated by Joseph R. Wolin, a curator, professor and writer based in New York.

A catalogue has been created in collaboration with scholars from the participating schools. We’re proud to be working with Duke University, The Ohio State University, Columbia University and Lewis & Clark College.

It is our hope is that this project will inspire others to share their art collections for educational purposes and start an ongoing dialogue about art collecting, philanthropy and ethics.