Cash is what the Echo Park-based Tom of Finland Foundation really needs these days. The nonprofit created to promote the legacy of the legendary homoerotic artist known as Tom of Finland has joined the growing list of cultural groups that have suffered a drop in contributions and grants as the economy tanks. The foundation is headquartered in the Echo Park home of its president, Durk Dehner, who played host to Tom (his real name was Touko Laaksonen and he really was from Finland) on numerous occasions before the artist died in 1991.
In a recent fundraising appeal, Dehner warned that the group, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, is at a “critical juncture” as donations have dropped steadily.
The foundation is not in any “imminent danger” of closing , said administrator Sharon M. in an email. However, it does look like erotic art fans and leather daddies alike will need to dig deeper into their wallets (if they can get them out of those skin tight jeans) to keep the group going.
“We need help getting new members to take up the cause and support year after year,” Sharon wrote. “Times are tough for everyone and the Foundation has felt it.”
Image: Tom of Finland Foundation website