About PAA

“If you were setting out to create the model for an ideal arts organization, it would be progressive, nimble, focused, full of enthusiasm, and very influential.  In other words it would look exactly like the Pasadena Art Alliance.”   Michael Maltzen, Principal, Michael Maltzen Architecture, Inc.


Joel Shapiro, 2009

Joel Shapiro, 2009

The purpose of the Pasadena Art Alliance is to foster appreciation for contemporary visual arts in Southern California by supporting artists, exhibitions, educational programs and art-oriented, non-profit institutions.

Who We Are:

We are a unique and independent volunteer group that is not aligned with any institution, organization or museum.  For over sixty years, we have enjoyed educating ourselves while exploring and funding visionary ideas and concepts in contemporary art.  This dedication started in 1955 when we initially formed to support the renowned Pasadena Art Museum.  Following the purchase of the museum by Norton Simon, we obtained our own 501(c)(3) non-profit status in 1975 and became independent in terms of support and affiliations.  This gives us unusual freedom in terms of scope and impact that our organization provides through our grants program.  We remain an ever inventive and dynamic organization of over 175 women who share a deep belief in the increasingly diverse and important art of our time.

Steve Roden, 2013

Steve Roden, 2013

What We Do:

We give grants and awards on an annual basis to projects that meet our rigorous process and standards.  Funds are granted to established as well as unconventional institutions, and we pride ourselves on championing the difficult and nontraditional.  We raise funds by holding annual benefits that vary from year to year, but include our time-honored Art Auction and the legendary Treasure Sale.  All monies raised go directly to our grants and award programs.

Since 1976, we have awarded over $6,000,000 to support contemporary art in Southern California.  We believe our grants to institutions, galleries and museums have been vital in helping our community understand and embrace challenging new work in a variety of media.  Los Angeles is now recognized as an international leader in contemporary art.  We think our organization helped make that possible.

In honor of our 60th Anniversary, which was celebrated in 2015, read what others in the Los Angeles art world said about us.