Museum of Contemporary Art, Board President and MOCA Free Program Founder
Carolyn is the current President of the Board of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles, and has been a trustee since 2009. Driven by art’s ability to educate, change and heal, and to bridge cultural and socio-economic divides, Carolyn made a substantial gift to MOCA of $10 million, expanding public access to art in Los Angeles. Her donation funds the museum’s first free general admissions program, which is currently ongoing.
Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz, Education Sponsor
Carolyn is a long-time supporter of the educational programs at the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz (formerly the Thelonious Monk Institute), where she served as a trustee. She currently underwrites the Carolyn Clark Powers Scholarship at the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz Performance at UCLA. Through the Institute, she previously spearheaded a music education program, “The Blues and Jazz: Two American Classics,” providing instruments and master classes to schools in rural areas.
The Institute's goal is to bring young jazz musicians together with renowned jazz artists and educators to ensure their expertise is passed on to the next generation of musicians.
The Painted Turtle, Founder
Carolyn is a founder and board member of the free-of-charge camp for children with chronic and serious illnesses. Part of Paul Newman’s SeriousFun Camps, The Painted Turtle provides an authentic camp experience to these children, allowing them to grow, develop self-confidence, form meaningful friendships and just be kids. Carolyn and her three sons have volunteered as counselors at the camp and regularly contribute to their fundraising efforts and annual benefit.
The GRAMMY Museum Foundation, Director Emeritus
Carolyn served as a board member for The GRAMMY Museum Foundation, supporting music education and fostering the next generation of music creators and leaders. Thanks to the work of the foundation, over 10,000 students participate in enriching, educational workshops through The GRAMMY Museum’s Clive Davis Theater and 20,000 students have experienced GRAMMY Camp Weekend and Career Days, gaining an introduction to the business of music.
The Kennedy Center National Committee for the Performing Arts, Board Member
Carolyn is a board member of the Kennedy Center National Committee for the Performing Arts, whose community-based programs support, inspire and educate 11 million Americans per year. Their initiatives include early arts and adult education training and development programs, and support diversity and inclusion in the arts. The organization also produces free performances 365 days per year at the Kennedy Center, featuring more than 26,000 performers from all 50 states and more than 40 countries.
The Colleagues, Event Co-Chair
The Colleagues is a long-standing non-profit that supports and raises funds to end child abuse and neglect and provides resources for the well-being of women and children in need, especially those affected by violence and trauma.
Carolyn is an event co-chair of The Colleagues’ annual luncheon and Oscar de la Renta fashion show. The event includes the presentation of the prestigious Champion of Children Award, which honors those who have made a lasting impact on the lives of children. Past honorees include Nancy Regan, Maria Shriver and Wallis Annenberg.
Pachamama Alliance, Dreamchanger
Inspired by a life-changing trip to the Amazon rainforest, during which she stayed with a tribe of shamans, Carolyn became a steward of Pachamama Alliance, a climate conservation organization that was founded to help protect the Amazon rainforest and its indigenous people. Today, Pachamama educates and inspires a global community to help regenerate the planet’s ecosystems, bring justice to their communities, and build toward a more sustainable future.
Americans for the Arts, National Arts Awards, Chair
Carolyn chaired the Americans for the Arts’ National Arts Awards and is the namesake of its annual Carolyn Clark Powers Lifetime Achievement Award, bestowed to such luminaries as Tony Bennett, Herbie Hancock, Sophia Loren, Mavis Staples and the painter Luchita Hurtado. The organization supports the extraordinary and dynamic value of the arts and aims to ensure that every American has access to the transformative power of the arts.
To Be of Service, Executive Producer
Carolyn is Executive Producer of the documentary, To Be of Service, moved by its powerful story of service dogs trained to partner with and support veterans who return home from war with PTSD. The film, by Academy Award–nominated director Josh Aronson and featuring an original song by Jon Bon Jovi, underscores the devastating toll war takes on soldiers. The documentary illustrates service dogs' pivotal role in transforming the lives of veterans shattered after sacrificing for our country.
Efforts to promote the film while also lobbying for change in policy at the Department of Veterans Affairs resulted in the PAWS ACT, which President Biden signed into law in August 2021. The PAWS ACT created a five-year pilot program funded by the VA to pay for service dogs for veterans suffering with PTSD.