Young Philanthropists: Sarah Hoover

Sarah Hoover’s passion for the arts began at a young age when she would frequent local Indianapolis museums with her grandfather. Now, she serves as a director at the Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea, where she has worked as an artist liaison and art dealer since 2007. She also sits on the development committee at Recess in Brooklyn, an organization that supports artists by building a more just and equitable creative community, and works with the Art Production Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to commissioning public art projects. Additionally, Hoover’s passion for ballet growing up inspired her, along with three other founding members, to establish the Accelerator Council of American Ballet Theatre (ABT).

Brooke Kelly: What motivated you to establish the Accelerator Council of ABT? 

Sarah Hoover: I grew up dancing and actually attended an ABT summer intensive as a young teenager, so I’ve always adored ballet, and the mission of ABT in particular—it was founded by a single mom! As a national company, it hosts dancers from all over the world and country. Even though I didn’t quite make it as a professional dancer, I wanted to be able to give back to a community that I have always loved and that has brought me so much happiness as a New York resident. My favorite nights are summer ballet evenings at Lincoln Center, and Champagne on the terrace during intermission. Together with some of my dearest ballet loving friends, like IndréRockefeller (who actually was a pro ballerina!), CeCe Thompson, and Chai Vasarhelyi, we decided to found a group to share our love with other millennial New Yorkers, drawing connections between the company and creatives in our own fields, and raising money for women’s choreographic initiatives at the company. 

BK: Which other organizations are you passionate about? 

SH: My other great love is Recess in Brooklyn, which is a fabulous nonprofit with an abolitionist stance that disrupts the prison pipeline by providing arts education and training to young adults convicted of crimes, helping them avoid prison time. It also gives grants and exhibition space to artists working on projects about social justice, who collaborate with the youth in the arts programming. I also adore both Coalition for the Homeless and Art Production Fund, and work with them on their annual fundraising events.

BK: How have your charity goals evolved  due to the pandemic?

SH: If anything, the pandemic has intensified the way I feel about nonprofit work, both because it has shown how fragile these systems are, and how much we need them. Living without performance, public art, galleries, and museums has been sad, and showed how bleak the city would become without art in our daily lives. But even worse has been knowing how the very fixable, very avoidable holes in our institutions, policies, and structures have failed so many of our most vulnerable. 

Sarah Hoover (Courtesy of Daniel Trese)