Cultural Organizations


Lifelong New Yorkers, Mr. Schwartz, together with his late wife Irene and their family, supports a host of outstanding organizations that enrich life for New Yorkers and Americans alike.


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Board Member

New York City

Bernard Schwartz serves as a member of the board of The New-York Historical Society Museum & Library, a preeminent educational and research institution, and home to both New York City’s oldest museum and one of the nation’s most distinguished independent research libraries.

Founded in 1804, New-York Historical Society’s museum holdings cover four centuries of American history, including one of the world’s greatest collections of historical artifacts, American art, and other materials documenting the history of the United States as seen through the prism of New York City and State.

New-York Historical's Patricia D. Klingenstein research library is one of the oldest and most distinguished in the United States. Among its collections are far-ranging materials relating to the founding and early history of the nation; one of the best collections of 18th-century newspapers in the United States; an outstanding collection of materials documenting slavery and Reconstruction; and an exceptional collection of Civil War material.

The New-York Historical Society is recognized for engaging the public with deeply researched and far-ranging exhibitions, complemented by related public and education programs.

Bernard and Irene Schwartz Distinguished Speakers Series

The New-York Historical Society regularly plays host to the most eminent historians, writers and thinkers in the nation. The heart of the New-York Historical Society public programs is the Bernard and Irene Schwartz Distinguished Speakers Series. Through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Schwartz, New-York Historical has been able to produce a wide array of extraordinary lectures and conversations focusing on history, politics, and current affairs, as well as a variety of other topics. In addition, the Bernard and Irene Schwartz Classic Film Series, now in its fourth year, has brought an exciting roster of notable writers, actors, and filmmakers to our stage. Visit for links to lectures, walks, and films.

Bernard and Irene Schwartz Postdoctoral Fellows Program

The Bernard and Irene Schwartz Postdoctoral Fellows Program was established in 2005 to foster a vibrant relation between the New-York Historical Society and The New School’s Eugene Lang College. Post-doctoral Fellows are invited to help build this connection through research, teaching, and public history programming. In the course of a one-year (non-renewable) fellowship, Bernard and Irene Schwartz fellows are expected to develop a major research project with the resources of the New-York Historical Society, to teach two undergraduate courses at Eugene Lang College, and to share in both institutions’ commitments to public history.

Bernard and Irene Schwartz Summer Internship Program

Also in cooperation with the New School University's Eugene Lang College, The Bernard & Irene Schwartz Summer Internship Program is a paid internship program to provide undergraduate students with a rewarding and demanding experience that includes working within the New York Historical Society's operations and visits to other cultural institutions throughout New York City.

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Life Trustee

New York City

WNET New York Public Media Thirteen | WLIW21 | NJTV (formerly Educational Broadcasting Corporation) 

Bernard L. Schwartz is a Life Trustee of WNET, flagship station of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) serving New York City’s tri-state area. WNET is the parent of ThirteenWLIW21 and NJTV, and is a major producer of award-winning broadcast and online content for local, national and international audiences.

Mr. Schwartz is a lead supporter of Charlie Rose, programming that illuminates difficult issues, explores fresh ideas, introduces new people, honors courage and continues a conversational archive of our time accessible to everyone.

Mr. Schwartz also supports PBS NewsHour Weekend, part of PBS's iconic lineup of trusted news and public affairs programming. Veteran correspondent and director of digital partnerships Hari Sreenivasan anchors the program on Saturday and Sunday evenings from the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center, broadcasting to audiences across the country.

On the local front, Mr. Schwartz supports insightful coverage of issues impacting New York and our tri-state community on our daily news broadcast MetroFocus. His commitment to in-depth, investigative news and public affairs programming ensures that millions of people across the United States are informed and educated about critical issues.

Devoted to building tri-state cultural awareness, accessibility and partnerships, Mr. Schwartz also supports Theater Close-Up, Thirteen’s unique collaboration with metropolitan-area non-profit theaters that presents a selection of thought-provoking and entertaining ‘Off Broadway’ plays, capturing their intimate work live on-stage and bringing it to a wider, more diverse audience. To reach the same audience as they receive in a single broadcast, these plays would have to run on stage in their small venues for several years.

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Vice Chairman

New York City

Bernard Schwartz is vice president and serves on the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s board of directors.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center is America’s pre-eminent film presentation organization. The Society was founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international cinema, to recognize and support new filmmakers, and to enhance awareness, accessibility and understanding of the art among a broad and diverse film going audience.

As an independent constituent of the world’s foremost performing arts center, the Film Society of Lincoln Center presents a 363-day season that includes premieres of new films from an international roster of established and emerging directors; major retrospectives; in-depth symposia and high profile events. The Film Society is one of the rare institutions whose stature is matched by its popularity, each year welcoming an aggregate audience of more than 200,000 film aficionados, filmmakers and industry leaders of every nationality, age, economic and ethnic group. The organization has been a pioneer among film institutions and one of the film world’s most respected and influential arbiters of cinematic trends and discoveries. François Truffaut, R.W. Fassbinder, Jean-Luc Godard, Pedro Almodóvar, Martin Scorsese, Wes Anderson — over the last four decades there is scarcely a major director who has not been introduced to American audiences by the Film Society.

The Film Society is best known for two world-class international festivals — the New York Film Festival (the most famous and prestigious in the country), and New Directors/New Films (celebrating new cinematic artists). It runs a state-of-the-art year-round cinema, the Walter Reade Theater (capacity: 268), and publishes the country's most respected cinematic journal, Film Comment. Each year the organization presents its annual Gala Tribute honoring legendary stars and industry leaders of our generation at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. The Film Society also hosts an annual Young Friends of Film Honors, which pays tribute to an artist in mid-career, and at various times of the year partners with Hollywood studios to present gala premieres and special live appearances.


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Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture

The Schwartz family supports the Bard Graduate Center where the late Irene Schwartz was a member of the Executive Planning Committee.  Located in New York City, the BGC's mission is to promote new levels of scholarship in the decorative arts and design and to advance recognition among the general public of the substantial cultural significance of decorative objects and material culture. The BCG offers two programs of study, one leading to a master of arts degree and the other to a doctoral degree.

Read more about the BCG