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Barnet Fain Funds
By Jean Cohoon / November 26, 2018 /   Loading Disqus...

“My father was interested in and participated in so many things. He had a very rich and full life,” states Kenneth Fain of his late father, Barnet “Bunny” Fain. “One of his earliest involvements was the Temple (Temple Habonim). It began in my parents’ basement and my father was its first president. At the other end of his life, the (Providence) Art Club became very important to him. He found it very gratifying to be accepted as an artist and to be part of that fraternity.”

It is those two organizations – Temple Habonim and the Providence Art Club – that Barnet selected as beneficiaries of designated funds he created through estate planning. 

Born and raised in Providence, Barnet graduated from Classical High School followed by Colby College in Maine, the latter where he earned a degree in sociology. Colby also was where he met his future wife, Jean Segal, then an art major at Bennington College.

Following graduation, Barnet served in the Army before returning to Providence to join the family business, Fain’s Floorcovering. “My father had the ability to run the business while spending 25% to 30% of his time involved with nonprofits. He had a strong sense of obligation to the community,” Ken recalls.

Barnet was the first chairman of the Rhode Island State Council of the Arts, chairman of the national Assembly of State Arts Agencies, chairman of Rhode Island School of Design, and a trustee of both Trinity Repertory and the Rhode Island Philharmonic. 

“My father would say he never would have gotten involved in the arts if it wasn’t for my mother, yet he was at the forefront of the national arts movement,” Ken shares.

Barnet’s interests also drew him to education and healthcare. In the former, he was co-president of what today is the Lifelong Learning Collaborative of Rhode Island; in the latter he served as chairman of both Miriam Hospital and Lifespan. “He was chairman of just about everything he could be chair of. When he was into something, he was all in. He lived life to the fullest,” Ken exclaims.

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