On May 7, 1993, two endowed funds were established by Lawrence R. Barnett and Isabel Bigley Barnett to support the Arts Policy and Administration Program at The Ohio State University. The Lawrence and Isabel Barnett Fellowship Fund provides tuition, fees, and an annual stipend for promising Arts Policy and Administration students. The Lawrence and Isabel Barnett Distinguished Visiting Professor Fund supports an annual Barnett lecture series and the biennial Barnett Arts and Public Policy Symposium.
The Barnett Symposium concept was created to facilitate in-depth inquiry and analysis of public and not-for-profit sector policies and practices. The inaugural symposium in May 1993 brought together two key figures from the J. Paul Getty Trust, two highly regarded state arts council directors, university experts in public policy, artists, and arts administrators to discuss the broad topic of Public Policy and the Arts.