Lewis Manilow has made significant contributions to the cultural life of Chicago through his considerable philanthropic support, as well as his personal involvement in the creation and growth of numerous visual and performing arts organizations.
Most recently, Manilow realized his 25-year dream of a revitalized Chicago theater district, with the opening of the new Goodman Theatre. He is an honorary president to the Goodman Theatre, located on the street “Lewis Manilow Place.”
A founder and major donor of Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, Manilow served as its president from 1976-81 and remains a trustee. He has donated numerous contemporary art works for the Art Institute of Chicago, where he is also a trustee.
He is one of the nation’s leading collectors of contemporary art and frequently opens his collection to visitors and art students
Manilow established the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park, named for his father, and donated major works by Bruce Nauman, Martin Puryear, Mark di Suvero, and Mary Miss. He provided a rent-free home for the fledging Randolph Street Gallery, Chicago’s leading alternative space for visual and performing artists. A 10-year member of the Advisory Board of the Renaissance Society, Manilow has supported exhibitions as well as various publications and artists’ books.
Mr. Manilow has been politically active and was President Clinton’s national vice-chair and Illinois Finance Chair in 1992. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the Chicago Community Trust for five years. Manilow has also practiced law in Chicago, developed real estate, and has been Chairman of the Board of an international telecommunications company.
He received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Governors State University in 1996.