The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation Establishes $1M UNCF Scholarship Program

Media Contact

Monique LeNoir UNCF Communications 202.810.0231

Provides awards to Black, Latinx and Indigenous New York City residents attending two-year or four-year accredited colleges


UNCF is pleased to announce the establishment of The Pierre and Tana Matisse Scholarship, a significant new program that will support Black, Latinx and Indigenous college students residing in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens or Staten Island, New York. Funded by a $1 million grant from The Matisse Foundation, the program provides students attending any accredited two-year community or four-year college in the United States with scholarships of up to $5,000.

The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation logo“This is an incredibly generous gift from The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation to New York City residents,” stated Dr. Michael L. Lomax, UNCF’s president and CEO. “We know that African American, Latinx and Indigenous communities have been disproportionately impacted by the virus. The ripple effect of COVID-19 has the potential to discourage students from pursuing a college education and may prevent others from continuing their education. Recognizing these facts, The Matisse Foundation is providing a pathway for successful applicants to continue on their journey to attain a college degree.”

The program will begin accepting applications on December 10; the deadline for completed applications is February 15, 2021. Students should submit an online application for the program, complete with a letter of recommendation, a one-page personal statement of their personal and professional goals and a current transcript. All application materials must be received by the deadline.

To be considered and accepted, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Be of any undergraduate classification.
  • Possess a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Have a demonstrated, unmet financial need as verified by their college or university.
  • Reside or be a permanent resident of one of the five boroughs of New York City (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, or Staten Island).
  • Be a Black, Latinx or Native American citizen who is currently enrolled as a full-time student at any accredited four-year institution or two-year community college.

Alessandra Carnielli, the Foundation executive director, said, “The board and staff of The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation are very pleased to partner with UNCF in providing scholarships to students from NYC. Since its inception, The Matisse Foundation has championed students of all ages through its annual grant awards in arts education. This year, the confluence of the health crisis and the national movement towards a more equitable society urged our Board to make an exceptional gift in support of NYC students ​seeking higher education. We ​believe this gift will provide opportunities for long lasting change to individual recipients and their communities.”

Diego Aviles, UNCF’s vice president of development for the northeast said, “As New York City residents continue to cope with the economic impact of the pandemic, we celebrate this new alliance and extraordinary gift on their behalf.”

To apply for the Pierre and Tana Matisse Scholarship, students should go to



About UNCF

UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, supports and strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding nearly 20% of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized trademark, A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.


About The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation
The Board and Staff of The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation stand in solidarity with Black communities across the country in denouncing the profound injustice of systemic racism and its effects in our society. We stand proudly with our fellow Americans against brutality and discrimination. We call for fairness and justice for all and are appalled by the lack of understanding and compassion ​so often exhibited by the police and some of our leaders. We are committed to support the children and youth from communities who directly ​experience the consequences of injustice and discrimination every day of their lives​. We point with pride to the activism of our grantees who serve as artists and role models​, teaching young people how the arts transmit messages of decency, equity and excellence and help form their conscience for the future.