Girls Inc. is pleased to announce Jane Fortune, a philanthropist, art collector, community leader, lecturer and author, as one of the women to be honored at our 2016 Touchstone Awards. Sally Herrholz, Dr. Ora Pescovitz, and Rev. Jean Smith will also be honored during the awards luncheon and will be featured in enewsletters leading up to the event.
Jane Fortune is an advocate for artistic preservation, social advancement and civic engagement. She lives in Florence, Italy for part of the year and is the cultural editor and a columnist for The Florentine, Tuscany’s only English-language newspaper. Since 2006, she has written a bi-monthly page for the newspaper on Italian art and culture.
Fortune is the author of 5 books, including To Florence, Con Amore: 90 Ways to Love the City and Invisible Women, Forgotten Artists of Florence, off of which PBS/WFYI Indianapolis based a documentary that won an Emmy in 2013. Following Invisible Women, she wrote, Art by Women in Florence, A Guide through 500 Years.
Her most recent book, When the World Answered, Florence, Women Artists and the 1966 Flood was released October, 2014. PBS/WFYI Indianapolis based a documentary on the book, which premiered world-wide in Florence, Italy in October, 2015, and in the US on November 2015, in Indianapolis. The film is nominated for an Emmy Award!
Fortune is the founder, and chair, of the Advancing Women Artists Foundation, whose primary mission is to identify, through extensive research, to restore, when necessary, and to exhibit works, by women, that have languished, unseen, many for centuries, in Florence’s museum storages, in order to bring attention to a much forgotten part of Florence’s cultural history.
She also is the creator of the Jane Fortune Research Program on Women Artists in the Age of the Medici’s at the Medici Archive Project, Florence, Italy, and sits on the Medici Archive Project Board of Trustees (Florence & New York).
Fortune is co-founder and vice-chair of the Indianapolis City Ballet. She is an honorary member of the dean’s advisory board of Herron School of Art and Design, Indianapolis, and endowed an annual Women Artists Lectureship there. She is on the National Advisory Board of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. She serves on the National Advisory Board of the Indiana University Art Museum, Bloomington, and is a founder and board member of the Women’s Philanthropy Counsel, IU Bloomington. She also is a former member of the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Fortune is passionate about making the arts accessible to people with special needs and received the 2007 Accessibility Award from the Mayor’s Advisory Council on Disability based on her contributions to the Indianapolis Museum of Art. In 2008, Fortune received the Indiana University- Purdue University Indianapolis Spirit of Philanthropy Award, the Herron School of Art and Design Honoree, and in 2007, Indianapolis Mayor’s Advisory Council on Disabilities and Accessibility Award for exceptional commitment to furthering accessibility and inclusion to persons with disabilities.
In 2010, Indiana University honored her with a doctorate of humane letters, and in 2014, the Indiana Historical Society named both she and her partner, Bob Hesse, Indiana Living Legends, which recognizes extraordinary Hoosiers for their contributions in Indiana and nationwide.
We can’t wait to honor Jane Fortune and three other successful and talented women –and to be able to share their stories with girls and the community.
The Touchstone Awards Luncheon takes place July 7th at the JW Marriott. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for upcoming enewsletters featuring our Touchstone Honorees. Find out more about the event!