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ArtsFund Founder Helped Ensure Our Future

Nearly 50 years ago, aware of the United Arts Fund movement building nationally, a young PONCHO (Patrons of Northwest Civic, Cultural, and Charitable Organizations) brought the idea to the Puget Sound. PONCHO gave $25,000 in start-up expenses to create a new and complementary organization to raise money from the business community in support of the arts. Edward A. Rauscher, a lawyer who had been one of the original PONCHO members, stepped up to organize what became the United Arts Council of Puget Sound.

Ed was instrumental in gathering the 21 original “subscribers” who created the United Arts Council of Puget Sound in 1969. Ed can rightly be thought of as the “founding father” in that in addition to his organizing the signatories, he served as the first President of the United Arts Council for Puget Sound. He also hosted the fledgling organization in his law office!

” It would be difficult to overstate the role Ed played.”
James F. Tune
ArtsFund President & CEO 2005-2012
Chair, ArtsFund Foundation Board
ArtsFund Advisory Council

The founding Board of Trustees, who handled day-to-day activities of the UAC and the allocation of funds to the arts community, included:

Robert M. Arnold
Gregory A. Falls
Eliot C. Read
Mrs. William K. Blethen
Paul S. Friedlander
Herman Sarkowsky
Frank Braile


Richard E. Fuller
Walter H. Scudder
Goodwin Chase
Solomon Katz
Langdon S. Simons, Jr
Joseph C. Coyne
F. A. LeSourd


Mrs. D. E. Skinner
Robert Denny Watt
Mrs. J. Elroy McCaw
Bagley Wright
C. Carey Donworth
Edward A. Rauscher
Howard S. Wright

Many of the original board members continued to support ArtsFund for years after its founding and made significant donations to create the ArtsFund Foundation. ArtsFund exists today thanks to their vision and commitment.
On December 17, 1976, the United Arts Council was reorganized and re-named Corporate Council for the Arts, and in the mid 1990’s, we became ArtsFund. We’ve come a long way since 1969, and Ed stayed a core member of the ArtsFund family throughout. Ed and his wife Vicki Rauscher remained supporters of ArtsFund through the years, with Ed most recently serving on the ArtsFund Advisory Council.

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Ed Rauscher. Our deepest condolences to his family and friends.

Edward Askew Rauscher 1921-2015