The Bitsie Clark Fund for Artists

about us

Greater New Haven has long boasted an abundance of gifted artists, but too few of them have received the financial support to help them soar. The Bitsie Clark Fund for Artists (The Bitsie Fund) seeks to change this. The Bitsie Fund will nourish Greater New Haven’s rich arts community by investing in its individual artists. The Fund will help artists realize a creative idea, advance a significant project, or enhance their artistic and/or professional goals in meaningful ways.


Bitsie, who stands four foot eleven, has been described as seeming to be six foot six. Others simply say she is larger than life. What is clear to all who know her is Bitsie Clark is a powerhouse. Bitsie has been a giant in this region, especially during her two decades as the Executive Director of the Arts Council of Greater New Haven. She was central to the launch of the Audubon Arts District and helped establish the arts as a driving economic force in Greater New Haven.

Many of Bitsie’s most meaningful actions at the Arts Council, however, stemmed from her everyday interactions with the constant stream of people who sought her advice. She gave counsel to individual artists, nurtured their talents and helped them achieve their dreams. The Bitsie Fund aims to do the same.

The Bitsie Clark Fund for Artists was the brainchild of Barbara Lamb, the former Director of the City of New Haven’s Department of Cultural Affairs. She, like many others working in the arts community during Bitsie’s tenure, considered herself mentored by Bitsie. It was Barb’s idea to honor Bitsie by establishing a fund to continue Bitsie’s commitment to artists. Barbara invited four other women whom Bitsie mentored to join her on this mission: Mimsie Coleman, Robin Golden, Betty Monz and Maryann Ott. With the addition of distinguished community members Kim Futrell, Stacy Graham-Hunt and John Motley, The Bitsie Clark Fund for Artists was launched.

The Bitsie Fund is working in collaboration with The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven which manages the fund, and with The Arts Council of Greater New Haven, the fiscal sponsor for our awardees.

Please consider contributing. Thank you!

Since its inception in 2018, The Bitsie Fund has awarded grants to extraordinary artists.  You can meet them here.


The Bitsie Fund was formally launched on October 30, 2018 at a reception celebrating Bitsie’s 87th birthday. Inspirational speakers included US Representative Rosa DeLauro and Will Ginsberg, Director of The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.

Videos of two electrifying performances are linked below. The first features Hip Hop Poet Aaron Jafferis; the second, Bitsie Clark herself.