Creating a Living Legacy

The Creating a Living Legacy (CALL) initiative provides artists with resources and instruction in the areas of career documentation, inventory management, and legacy planning.

Alex Unthank and Marcos Dimas looking at slides on a lightbox in a room filled with papers, art supplies and storage.
Legacy Specialist Alex Unthank working with CALL Artist Marcos Dimas in his studio.


Through decades of direct work with artists, we’ve gained invaluable insight into the full scope of what it means to build and sustain a creative life and professional practice over time. As stewards of Joan Mitchell’s legacy, we also have the privilege of witnessing first-hand the potential impact of an artistic legacy on future generations. We firmly believe that artists of all ages and career stages can lay the groundwork for their future legacies by crafting a long-term plan for it. The goal of the Creating a Living Legacy (CALL) initiative is to provide artists and their supporters the tools to undertake this important work.

Guides & Workbooks

After many years working directly with mature artists on career documentation, the Foundation expanded the vision for CALL, making its resources widely available through free workbooks, guides, online tutorials, and case studies.

We've prepared this comprehensive suite of supportive legacy building tools to guide you through the process at your own pace. Our workbooks give in-depth instruction in creating usable documentation of your artwork and career, managing your inventory of artworks, and starting the estate planning process. Online tutorials offer quick tips and tools you can implement as you develop your career documentation systems, and artist case studies share real-world advice from others who have gone through this process.

We celebrate your preservation efforts and hope these tools prove valuable as you fulfill your vision and intentions for your creative legacy.

Otto Neals smiles on a couch surrounded by artwork. He is Black with a greying beard, and wears a leather cap and a necklace with a cowrie shell pendant.
CALL Artist Otto Neals

CALL Program Participants & Talks

The CALL resource guides were developed following a decade of working directly with late-career artists in their studios and training Legacy Specialists to assist them in the career documentation process.

Recognizing that artists' voices are essential to the understanding of their practice and legacy, from 2007 to 2021 the Foundation partnered with VoCA (Voices in Contemporary Art) to produce the CALL/VoCA Talks, a series of in-depth interviews with artists who participated in the CALL program. The full-length videos are available below, and accessibly preserved with full transcripts at the NYU Fales Library.

Images in a grid: assistants working in a studio, partner logos, a spread from an Estate Planning Guide, and artist Tara Sabharwal speaking with Robin Clark.

Program Strategies & Milestones

In 2007, the Foundation began exploring new ways to support mature artists in the thorough documentation and preservation of their life's work. Over the next decade, we worked closely with dozens of artists to develop the CALL resources that are now available to the public. We’ve compiled the strategies, milestones, and outcomes of each phase of the CALL program in a timeline.