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MCA receives $10 million gift

Helen and Sam Zell, longtime supporters of the Museum of Contemporary Art, donated $10 million to the institution through the Zell Family Foundation.

The gift, which was announced Wednesday, is earmarked to create the Zell Fund for Artistic Excellence. In addition, the donation will support both the museum’s “Vision” initiatives — including programming and artist residency programs. Funds will also go toward reducing the debt on the building’s mortgage.

Helen Zell was president of the MCA’s women’s board from 1991 to 1994 and is chairman of the collection committee. The Zell Family Foundation also provides two paid internships at the museum.

It’s the second time MCA has received a large gift from a single donation, a museum spokeswoman said. In April, Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson also gave $10 million to name the 300-seat MCA Theater, which is now the Edlis Neeson Theater.

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