Who We Are

The Chelko Foundation was officially established in 2005 to commemorate the life of Paul Chelko’s wife, Debbie. Paul had a vision for a world where women are free and no longer have to suffer and he set out to make a difference for women all over the world through empowerment.

After obtaining its non-profit 501(c)3 status in 2007, The Chelko Foundation was born into reality and no longer just a dream for Paul. His ideas for the Foundation, before his death June 2, 2007, were far reaching and will continue under the guidance of a select group of people hand picked by Paul.

“There are opportunities with the foundation for women to become empowered…to move beyond their present creative positions and create who they are individually and collectively as a more powerful and more effective voice in the world one that ends gender discrimination and creates the possibility of a future free from bias.”

Focused on ending gender discrimination as Paul states; “Until women are free, no one is free. “ The Chelko Foundation believes in maintaining an active global presence and as such, we have endeavored to host events which raise awareness and money for select causes. We also provide Humanitarian grants and scholarships to deserving recipients.

Our Mission

VISION: The Chelko Foundation envisions a world free of gender bias

MISSION: The Chelko Foundation seeks to empower women through art, education and partnership by awarding scholarships in the arts and presenting special humanitarian grants.

METHOD: The Chelko Foundation funds its activities through a combination of public and private donations, the sale of it’s art collection and special events



The Chelko Foundation, through its annual fundraiser and efforts in the community has resulted in donations of 12,500 in Artist Grants, 10,000 to Angel Flight and 7,500 to The Chelko Foundation endowment at SCAD.

The Chelko Foundation’s mission to empower women by ending gender bias and violence against women and girls is driven by people just like you that strive to make a difference in the world. Working through a combination of Art, Education and Partnership, The Chelko foundation envisions a world where all women are free.

Inspired by the example set by its founder, Paul Chelko, Foundation volunteers have conributed countless hours to organizations like: V-Day, One Billion Rising, Jaden’s Ladder, Moving in The Spirit, Chayil, HERO and the Human Rights Campaign.

The Chelko Foundation has endowed a scholarship for Women in the Arts at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), commissioned public artwork and provided humanitarian grants to charitable organizations and deserving individuals. The Chelko Foundation has had a profound effect on hundreds of lives.

To date, the Chelko Foundation has contributed over $100,000 in grants to deserving artists, organizations and humanitarian causes.





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“I am the purveyor of magic. I’m a magician, neither painter, nor artist. I’m not any of these conventional historical labels. I deal in magic, beauty, life and love…”

Paul Chelko, was a vital presence in the Atlanta art scene for more than 40 years. His abstract painting, ultra realism, portraiture, performance art, music, poetry and film is world-renowned. Chelko also taught at Emory University, The Quinlan Art Center, Massey Junior College and was a member of the White House Art in the Embassies Program.

He served as the official artist for The Annual National Charity Awards Banquet in Washington, D.C.
His work hangs in the collections of Oprah Winfrey, Frank Sinatra, Vincent Price, Mayor Maynard Jackson, Senator Max Cleland and Coretta Scott King.

His work has been featured in The High Museum of Art and The Smithsonian. His experience as an artist and creator was centered on illuminating “doorways” inviting the viewer into a house of being. Passing through and presenting themselves completely the viewer is transported to a place inside themselves where their truth and power live.

Learn More About Paul