$2.825 Million Award Made in Honor of Robert K. and Marguerite S. Hoffman Will Launch the Museum’s Center for Creative Connections in 2008
Dallas, TX, May 5, 2007—The Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) today announced that The Allen & Kelli Questrom Foundation is making a five-year, $2.825 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 support the DMA's launch in 2008 of the Center for Creative Connections (CCC), formerly known as the Gateway Gallery. 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 Questrom Foundation award will 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. It was made in honor of the late Robert K. Hoffman, a Dallas businessman, civic leader, and arts patron who died in August 2006, and his wife, Marguerite, who currently serves as the DMA's Chairman of the Board of Trustees, of which Kelli Questrom is a member.
On presenting the grant, Mrs. Questrom said, "This award reflects the mutual desire of our Foundation and the DMA to provide lifelong learning through innovative public education in the arts, with the anticipation that the DMA's approach will serve as a model for improvement in education nationally. Arts education fosters the joy of discovery and recognition that there is strength in diversity, that the cultural differences between people add value to our lives and to our society. Museums can be about much more than merely showing art. Through inspired education programming, they can open eyes and minds and in so doing, hearts usually follow. The naming of the Center for Creative Connections says it well: we are all connected, and learning to live creatively and productively together is central to life's purpose."
The DMA award comes in the same year that the Questrom Foundation made a grant to endow into perpetuity the Allen Questrom Professorship and Dean of the School of Management at Boston University, where Mr. Questrom, a 1964 graduate, serves on the Board of Trustees.
Chairman & CEO Emeritus of the JCPenney Company, Inc., Allen Questrom is a partner of Lee Equity Partners, based in New York City. A highly regarded retail turnaround specialist, Mr. Questrom's 40-year career includes the posts of President/CEO of both Neiman Marcus and Barneys New York, and Chairman/CEO of the then bankrupt Federated Department Stores, Inc., which he brought out of Chapter 11 in 1993 and for which he engineered the acquisition of competitor RH Macy Company, Inc. Upon his retirement in 2005 from the Penney Company, the JCP Afterschool Fund awarded $250,000 to the Dallas Museum of Art for an endowed education fund in the Questroms' honor to support afterschool initiatives in collaboration with community partners Boys & Girls Club, Inc., YMCA and Junior Achievement. The Questroms have served as trustees of several museums, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the LA Municipal Art Gallery, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. They are currently members of the Aspen Museum's National Council, and of the Whitney's National Committee.
Kelli Questrom, a longtime arts education advocate, has served on the DMA Board of Trustees since 2002. Her DMA trusteeship is marked by personal and philanthropic leadership. In addition to this new principal gift to DMA education programming, she and Allen made an early gift to the Centennial Campaign in her first year as a trustee, she helped design the Donor Circle Membership Program and made its first five-year pledge in 2004, and she and her husband are currently Underwriting Co-Chairmen for The Art Ball 2007, Continuum.
"Allen and Kelli are passionate in their civic philanthropy, and they care deeply about art and about Dallas; Kelli has always been catalytic in her Museum trustee leadership," said John R. Lane, the Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art. "The award that the Questrom Foundation is making to the Museum allows us, with the launch of the Center for Creative Connections, to create a new paradigm for cultural learning in museums that will become a cornerstone for one of the very best museum education programs in the country."
About the Dallas Museum of Art: The 26,000 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 only encyclopedic art museum in North Texas.