An idealist at heart and always ready to support organizations that can make our world a better place, Lizzie da Trindade-Asher splits her time working to preserve art with Save Venice and advancing educational opportunities for youth with City Squash.
Q: What are your specific causes and concerns?
A: I have always had one love: art. My mother’s passion was art in all its forms, and my sister and I were raised attending opera, ballet, theater, and exhibits. Thanks to being introduced to all of this so early, I developed a special relationship with art. I believe it is one of the few incarnations of humanity’s genius and it is a heritage we all should cherish. This is why I am involved with Save Venice, an organization that helps preserve the artistic genius of all things Venice. The organization’s work is so valuable in terms of the restoration work of such treasures like those of Tintoretto and Titian. We live in a world where we are assaulted by news of wars, intolerance, and even decay, and yet there are paintings in this world that represent the better part of ourselves—the genius of the human intellect, the raw power of innovation, all elements that elevate humankind. How can one help but not get involved in preserving those gifts that previous masters have endowed to us?
I am also passionate about City Squash, which provides tutoring to underprivileged kids and helps those who excel academically obtain scholarships to boarding schools. Unfortunately, many of the kids whose excellence is being rewarded with scholarship offers are not able to take advantage of those opportunities as their families cannot afford the out-of-pocket costs for books, meals, transportation, etc. My husband and I decided to endow the Asher-Ezra Scholarship fund at City Squash to help all these deserving kids benefit from the opportunities they have earned.
Q: What does philanthropy mean to you?
A: No matter what form it presents itself, philanthropy is all about giving back. My mother constantly inculcated in me that our privilege demanded that we share some of our bounty however we best saw fit. While this might mean a financial commitment to Save Venice, this means a dedication of time to all the Asher-Ezra Scholarship recipients at City Squash. Those relationships are on-going and meeting the kids when they are freshman and staying in touch to see them graduate is just incredible—these are kids who beat the odds and they just inspire me.
Q: What is your ultimate goal as a young philanthropist?
A: I hope that everyone I invite to share in an experience related to one of my causes with will walk away energized to get involved—not necessarily in my cause, but rather their own.