In 1974, when Norton Simon assumed control of the Pasadena Art Museum, the Museum’s acclaimed children’s art program was discontinued. The Giesen Trust was instrumental in creating a new organization, the Pasadena Art Workshops, to carry on the tradition of using professional artists as teachers and art programs that encouraged unique forms of self-expression.
The Pasadena Art Workshops grew to become the nationally recognized Armory Center for the Arts, located in Old Town Pasadena. The Giesen Trust has been a major funder throughout the Armory’s history. The number of participants in Armory programs now exceeds 100,000 annually. In 2015, the Armory Art High Program won the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, described by the White House as the highest honor for after school art programs in the nation.