Established by the co-founders of Communication Arts in 1990, the Richard and Jean Coyne Family Foundation has funded programs to assist underrepresented young people from economically disadvantaged backgrounds to develop portfolios and qualify for admission to art school, as well as provide college scholarships for the study of graphic design, advertising, photography and illustration.
The foundation’s impetus began with this cover article of a 1968 issue of CA. Shortly after the Watts riots in 1965, Bill Tara, a contributor to the magazine and a talented illustrator, copywriter and overall creative thinker, started the Tutor/Art program, helping disadvantaged kids from Los Angeles build portfolios so they could apply for art school scholarships.
Tutor/Art screened students from Los Angeles’s core high schools based on their talents for free tutoring by Tara and a number of other top professionals. These students achieved a phenomenal record of winning scholarships, mostly to Chouinard Art Institute in downtown Los Angeles—the location of the weekend Tutor/Art classes.
The program launched many successful careers in both commercial and fine art, but came to an end when the California Institute of the Arts incorporated Chouinard and moved to Valencia, which was economically and geographically out of reach for Tutor/Art’s students.
Tara died of cancer just a few years later, but his results impressed Richard and Jean Coyne; they hoped someday to see and support similar programs across the country.