In the latest of what has become a spree of charitable gifts, Cuban-born investor and philanthropist Alberto W. Vilar has donated $20 million to New York University for a new arts scholarship program, the New York Times reports.
Over the past four months Vilar, an arts and opera enthusiast, has made substantial donations to a number of institutions, including $50 million to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, $250,000 to the New York Philharmonic, and $5 million for the creation of a new foundation to administer a competitive training program for young conductors.
The Alberto Vilar Global Fellows in the Performing Arts, as the program will be called, will be headed by NYU president L. Jay Oliva and will be modeled on the Rhodes scholarship program. Approximately twenty fellowships worth $40,000 each will be offered annually to students studying voice, dance, film, composition, acting, and music.
"This program is so uniquely, naturally brilliant," said Vilar in a recent interview with the Times. "In a couple years, when you say 'I'm a Vilar scholar,' that means you came to the best school and the cultural center of the world. You've studied under a number of extraordinary specialists. You interacted in this live laboratory."