Cleve Carney Endowment Fund to Support the Arts

Cleve Carney Event

By Brian Kleemann

A gala reception at College of DuPage celebrated the life of DuPage County native and Glen Ellyn resident Cleve Carney, who has provided a seven-figure gift to the College of DuPage Foundation. Click here for photos and a video retrospective from this event.

The gift consists of a $700,000 donation and a gift in kind of artwork that, once appraised, will total more than $1 million. The funds will be used to establish the Cleve Carney Art Space in the McAninch Arts Center and the Cleve Carney Art Space Endowment Fund.

The endowment fund will support the exhibition of contemporary art in the new space and provide funding to purchase artwork for the College of DuPage Permanent Art Collection. So far, more than $25,000 has been donated to the fund since its creation.

“By establishing an endowment fund, Cleve Carney is making sure that future generations will have access to contemporary art, a passion he enjoyed throughout his lifetime,” said Catherine Brod, vice president of Development at College of DuPage and executive director of the College’s Foundation. “It’s a generous gift that will benefit both the College and the community.”

An avid art collector, Carney took an interest in new and upcoming artists, embracing both the work and the person. His extensive philanthropic endeavors include serving on the board and as board president for the DuPage Community Foundation and serving on the boards of the Collectors Forum at the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Society for Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago.

During the recent reception on June 21, more than 200 family, friends and artists joined Carney as they paid tribute to his life and his love of the arts. A video retrospective, a display of select works from Carney’s collection and a sneak peak at drawings depicting the new Cleve Carney Art Space – a one-story addition on the west side of the McAninch Arts Center – were part of the festivities.

Stephen Cummins, director of Performing Arts at the McAninch Arts Center, said the gift will allow people to see famous artwork on campus.

“Imagine a teacher saying to a student, ‘You can go to a downtown museum to see that artist’s work, or you can see that same artist exhibited right here on the COD campus,’ ” he said. “The Cleve Carney Endowment Fund will allow us to develop a permanent collection that will be invaluable to our students and the community.”

For more information about the Cleve Carney Art Space Endowment Fund, call the College of DuPage Foundation at (630) 942-2462 or email

Caption: A video retrospective of Cleve Carney captivates the guests at the gala event celebrating Carney's life. (Photo by Press Photography Network)