The Omomuki Foundation is based in New York City and currently administers three programs: the Akatonbo Arts Fellowship; Omomuki Arts Grants; and Omomuki Health Grants. Omomuki is a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is privately funded and does not solicit donations.
What Does Omomuki Mean?
Omomuki is an ancient, native Japanese word for which there is no direct translation. It has been described as a charm so subtle as to be almost elusive, but powerfully felt. Omomuki is best conveyed through certain haiku, such as these:
there is an old small lake
and a frog jumped into it
made water noise
— Matsuo Bashô (translation by K. Wakai)
as I ate persimmon
the bell of Horyuji temple rang
— Masaoka Shiki (translation by K. Wakai)
What is the Omomuki Foundation Symbol?
It is a double enso. An enso is a circle, painted in ink with a single brushstroke, in Zen calligraphy. It can be drawn closed, or open. The meaning of enso depends on each individual, and the feeling evoked when it is being painted.
The Omomuki enso was painted for the Omomuki Foundation by the artist Krit Chaicharoen.
Omomuki Board Members
Danny Whitman, Board of Directors
Mr. Whitman is the Director of Development for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. Since 1988 Broadway Cares has raised more than $285 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States. Prior to Broadway Cares, Mr. Whitman was Deputy Director of Development for The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in New York City.
Stephen Bloom, Board of Directors
Mr. Bloom is the CEO of the Portland Japanese Garden. Under his leadership, the Garden has become one of the two largest Japanese cultural institutes in North America, and recently launched its International Institute for Japanese Garden Arts and Culture. He was the President of the Honolulu Symphony from 2000-2005 and Executive Director of the Tacoma Symphony from 1996-2000. He is the recipient of the 2016 Japan Foreign Minister’s Commendation.
Geoffrey Hoefer, Board of Directors
Mr. Hoefer is the founder and Chairman of the Omomuki Foundation. Prior to Omomuki, he served as founder and CEO of Jovus, Inc., a financial software firm, and Burgess Wever LLC, an online marketplace for retirement products. Mr. Hoefer is a member of the Board of Directors of GMHC, the world’s first and a leading provider of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and advocacy; a member of the Leadership Council of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS; and a member of the International Advisory Board of the Portland Japanese Garden. He was a founding member of GeoHazards International, a non-profit specializing in reducing risk from natural hazards in developing countries. Mr. Hoefer holds a BS in Engineering Geology, a BA in History of Art, and an MS in Civil Engineering from Stanford University; and an MBA from Harvard University.