A Life of Quiet Generosity: Celebrating Fred Weinstein

How delighted I am to see the progress of ARTZ Philly from our days at the Barnes until today. I am certain that Arleen would agree…

— In December of 2014, Fred and Arleen Weinstein joined us at the Barnes Foundation to participate in their first “ARTZ @ The Museum” program. They were a wonderful couple –full of good humor and insights. Arleen had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease four years earlier, but her lifelong love of art was immediately evident. Fred and Arleen became regulars at several of our “ARTZ @ The Museum” programs, and hardly missed a session unless ill health or doctor’s appointments prevented their attendance. When Arleen moved to a residential care community, she participated in our programs there as well.

Following Arleen’s passing in 2017, we were honored to announce the launch of a new program in her honor. “ARTZ @ Fleisher,” a partnership between ARTZ Philadelphia and Fleisher Art Memorial (which was just around the corner from where Fred and Arleen had lived for many years), was a special addition to our “ARTZ @ The Museum” flagship program, funded by the new Arleen Weinstein Fund for Creative Aging.

This partnership was made possible by the quiet generosity of Arleen’s devoted husband of 54 years and her primary care partner during her near decade living with Alzheimer’s Disease. It was typical of Fred that he would attribute the program exclusively to the generosity of his wife rather than foregrounding his own name – or even including it at all. Fred’s generosity was self-effacing. He wanted only to make others’ lives better, that was the reward he sought in his philanthropy and in his interactions with friends, both lifelong and more recent – as we at ARTZ Philadelphia so clearly experienced ourselves as Fred shifted from ARTZ program participant and care partner to ARTZ benefactor.

In the years following the launch of “ARTZ @ Fleisher,” Fred shared with us his desire to ensure the continuation of the program in Arleen’s name even after he, himself, was gone. In his characteristically meticulous way, he worked with us to project what would be needed to keep the program funded, accounting for annual increases in overhead each year, ten years into the future.*

Fred Weistein and other participants enjoy an online ARTZ-Connect at Fleisher program viewing an artwork depicting the counter of a diner
Fred (second from right) and others enjoy an ARTZ-Connect @ Fleisher program

Fred was diagnosed with ALS in 2022. He had been an ongoing presence at our in-person “ARTZ @ Fleisher” program since its inception, and then at our online version of the program during the years of the pandemic. With this diagnosis and the toll it took on him physically and emotionally, Fred decided that he would no longer attend the programs but would “continue to support ARTZ at a distance.”  Again, so characteristic of Fred that he would continue to affirm his role as one of ARTZ Philadelphia’s first and most enduring benefactors, even in the midst of his own devastating and painful experiences.

Fred passed away from complications related to ALS in April of 2023. His persistent advocacy for Arleen and for our other community members; his unwavering faith in a fledgling arts service organization that with his support grew in stature and impact from his and Arleen’s first encounters with us through our first decade; and above all, his quiet generosity in all facets of his life: these will be his enduring legacy with us at ARTZ and with all others who, like us, were fortunate enough to benefit from his presence in their lives.

If, like Fred, you would like to ensure the future of ARTZ Philadelphia with a planned gift, please schedule a preliminary conversation with us by contacting Susan at shifrin@artzphilly.org or 610-721-1606.