Eric and Liz Lefkofsky are Chicago-area philanthropists and collectors with a fervent interest in contemporary art. And the two, who own important works by artists such as Carrie Mae Weems and Christopher Wool, consider it their duty to give back to their home city. While Eric maybe the better known of the two, as cofounder of the e-commerce platform Groupon (famed for its potent coupons) and the venture fund Lightbank (its portfolio has included the cycling-class startup Flywheel and the social media enterprise Sprout Social ), Liz has had a respected career in the Windy City’s not-for-profit sector. In 2006, the couple established the Lefkofsky Family Foundation, which focuses on education, human rights, medical research, and the arts.
In 2017 the couple established a grant for the Museum of Contemporary Art in the city with the intention of providing free admission to all visitors 18 and younger for the following five years. The announcement came as the museum moved to raise the suggested admission price for adults, and the MCA’s director, Madeleine Grynsztejn, said in a statement, “Young people today want more than a place to look at art; they want a place where they can talk and discuss, and a community hub where they can hang out. By offering free admission to all those 18 and under we ensure that there are no financial barriers for today’s youth to engage with and learn about contemporary art and ideas.” The Lefkofskys have pledged to give away half of their wealth as part of the Giving Pledge.