(NEW YORK) — PEN America issued the following statement mourning the passing of philanthropist Laura Pels, following news of her death this week.

“Mrs. Pels was a visionary supporter of theater in New York City and beyond,” said Clarisse Rosaz Shariyf, chief program officer, Literary Programming at PEN America. “Her belief in the fundamental importance of the artform inspired many, and her support of both institutions and individual artists brought numerous significant works to the stage. We could not be more proud at PEN America to be part of the legacy Mrs. Pels established with the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award. For the past 25 years, the award has recognized playwrights of all career stages including Tony Kushner, Suzan-Lori Parks, David Henry Hwang, Lynn Nottage, and Larissa FastHorse. These and other honorees embody the award’s spirit of, and Mrs Pels’ dedication to, artistic excellence. Today we join colleagues in the artistic community she inspired and fostered in mourning her passing.”

She died on Wednesday in Manhattan at age 92, according to an obituary in The New York Times.