Arkansas State University has received a $6.4 million grant from the Windgate Foundation to support arts education and to provide direct assistance to students through needs-based scholarships, Chancellor Kelly Damphousse said Wednesday (May 5).
The Windgate grant creates three endowments at A-State, and also provides immediate support to each area.
“On behalf of Arkansas State, I want to thank the Windgate Foundation for their ongoing support of the arts and our students,” Damphousse said. “We know the value that art plays in our communities, both on campus and across our region, and these grants will ensure the continued impact of both A-State and art in Northeast Arkansas.”
The $6.4 million ranks among the largest foundation gifts to Arkansas State, and it is among the top three all-time gifts to the arts at A-State.
The largest single area of support defined by this grant was the creation of a $3 million need-based scholarship endowment to begin supporting A-State students during the upcoming 2021-22 academic year.
“This very thoughtful grant from Windgate touches at the heart of our mission at Arkansas State,” Damphousse said. “We know that nothing changes the trajectory of a family like the opportunity for a four-year college degree. At the same time, one of the biggest hurdles for many of our students is the initial costs of attendance. Gifts like this allows A-State to fulfill its mission to change the lives of our students.”
Details on how students will receive the Windgate scholarships will be determined later this month and outreach to those qualified will begin soon.
In 2018, the Windgate Gallery was named at Bradbury Art Museum to honor a grant that supports BAM’s outreach efforts and assist with the transition from gallery to museum status. This new grant includes two gifts for BAM: a $2 million endowment for operations and programs of the museum and a matching grant of $30,000 for the “BAM Van.”
“Having the support of Windgate for operations and programs is outstanding, and creating the matching grant challenge for the BAM Van will provide great opportunities to expand our outreach in Jonesboro and across the region,” Garry Holstein, director of BAM said. “We are excited to bring our programing into the communities and schools of our region. Field trips can be very limited due to funding or even timing for rural school districts. Now, we will be able to bring BAM to them.”
Windgate Center for Three-Dimensional Arts is set to welcome A-State students to new classrooms and workspaces for the fall 2021 semester. This new gift includes a $1 million building maintenance endowment to support the facility.
“Obviously a facility that is designed for the creation of a wide range of art has a high demand for equipment and consumables that this grant will support,” Dr. Temma Balducci, chair of the Department of Art + Design said. “We are very appreciative of the ongoing interest and support we have received from Windgate.”
Dr. Carl Cates, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Communications where both BAM and Art + Design are located, added that this grant comes at an extremely impactful moment.
“Both the support for art programming and the scholarships are game-changers for our region,” Cates said. “I know that Garry and Temma will create outstanding programs to touch both students at A-State and in our rural schools. It will be extremely impactful.”