Meadows Grant Announcement

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$4.38 Million Award Includes a Campaign Challenge to Support Innovative Public Education in the Arts and s Earlier Gift

Dallas, TX, April 30, 2007The Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) today announced that The Meadows Foundation is making a $4.38 million grant in support of the Museum's educational mission to inspire lifelong learning through engaging experiences with works of art.

The Foundation's award will provide capital funds to establish the Center for Creative Connections (CCC), formerly known as the Gateway Gallery, and support building enhancements and expanded programs for Education.  The Center for Creative Connections will be an experimental learning environment that provides interactive encounters with works of art and artists.  It will be designed to stimulate curiosity, inquiry and reflection in visitors of all ages and learning styles.  The Center will serve as a bridge between our everyday experiences of looking and the transformational experiences of seeing, creating and connecting deeply with works of art and with other participants.

Specifically, The Meadows Foundation award will provide $3 million for construction and renovation costs to launch the CCC, to improve all other Concourse-level education galleries and facilities (including the Horchow Auditorium), and to upgrade technology infrastructure for museum-wide wireless Internet connectivity. The $3 million gift is part of a dollar-for-dollar challenge to achieve complete funding. Additionally, The Meadows Foundation will give $1.38 million to expand the existing educational programming and to support the additional educational staff.

The building and implementation of the CCC is a primary component of the Museum’s Campaign for a New Century. To help meet The Meadows Foundation’s $3 million challenge and achieve the overall CCC campaign goal, the DMA will open a Preview Center on May 17 in its FINA Gallery on the ground floor that will remain open during Museum hours until construction begins early in the fall. The Preview Center will be a 1,500-square-foot space that will replicate on a smaller scale the design of the CCC. It will also offer in its rooms a sampling of the interdisciplinary experiences that will engage visitors of all ages and backgrounds with works of art and with artists. These include “Experiments with Art,” “Looking Deeper,” and “Digital Experiments.” On May 17, the Museum will announce all leadership gifts to date to the Campaign for a New Century.

On presenting the grant, Linda Evans, President and CEO of The Meadows Foundation, said, "We are pleased to support the Dallas Museum of Art in furthering its outstanding educational programming, especially in the area of early child development.” “We believe that art inspires the imagination and lifts the spirit. Providing these opportunities for young children in an interactive educational environment helps them build critical learning skills and develop a life-long appreciation for art,” Evans added.

The Meadows award comes in the same year that the Allen & Kelli Questrom Foundation made a five-year, $2.825 million grant to endow the new senior education position of Director of the CCC and provide five years of operating support, including enhanced, ongoing evaluation and visitor research for all of its education offerings.

The Meadows Foundation is a private philanthropic institution established in 1948 by Algur H. and Virginia Meadows to benefit the people of Texas. The Foundation’s mission is to assist the people and institutions of Texas to improve the quality and circumstances of life for themselves and future generations.

Algur Meadows built General American Oil Company of Texas into one of the nation’s most successful independent oil and gas production companies. Believing that his own life was greatly enriched by giving, Meadows generously shared his wealth with many charitable causes benefiting the people of the state that had been so kind to him. Wishing to share the joy of giving with their extended family, both living and yet unborn, Algur and Virginia Meadows established The Meadows Foundation so that their philanthropy would continue in perpetuity, under the guidance and direction of family members and trusted advisors.

Since its inception, the Foundation’s assets have grown to a current value in excess of $950 million, and it has disbursed over $600 million in grants and direct charitable expenditures to over 2,900 Texas institutions and agencies. Foundation grants support work in the fields of arts and culture, civic and public affairs, education, health, and human services. The Foundation also has a particular philanthropic interest in three areas: public education (particularly in the areas of early child development, enhanced reading skills and teacher preparation), mental health and the environment. It also seeks to develop a philanthropic spirit among high school and middle school students and has awarded in excess of $2.3 million to over 350 schools in North Texas whose students planned and carried out community service programs.

"I very warmly thank The Meadows Foundation and Catherine M. Rose, the Chair of our Campaign for a New Century, for their extraordinary efforts to bring this generous gift to the DMA,” said John R. Lane, The Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art. “The DMA has worked diligently during the past few years to define a far more ambitious future for our education program, and the strong personal interest that both the Foundation and Ms. Rose have expressed in advancing arts education in Dallas and at the Museum is both enormously exciting and deeply appreciated.”

“Education is at the center of our work, a strategic goal that drives us to connect the broadest possible public with great works of art in diverse ways that allow for enriching, personalized, and enjoyable learning experiences,” added Bonnie Pitman, Deputy Director of the Dallas Museum of Art and the project director who developed the Center for Creative Connections concept. “I thank The Meadows Foundation for their great support in helping us move from plan to reality.”

About the Dallas Museum of Art:
The 23,000 works of art in the DMA's encyclopedic collections span 5,000 years of history and represent all media, with renowned strengths in the arts of the ancient Americas, Africa, Indonesia and South Asia; European and American painting, sculpture and decorative arts; and American and international contemporary art.  It is the largest art museum in North Texas, and the region’s only general art museum. The DMA is a recognized leader both nationally and regionally for its collections, exhibitions and educational programs.