Windgate Foundation Challenge giveaway supports art and innovation initiatives in # Discover2025 plan

03/12/2021

JONESBORO – Chancellor Kelly Damphousse on Friday announced the largest financial contribution in Arkansas State University history, as the Windgate Foundation pledged $ 25 million for the construction and maintenance of a new building on campus.

The announcement followed the formal vote of the Arkansas State University System Board of Trustees to accept the gift and designate the facility as the Windgate Hall of Art and Innovation and the Art District and innovation that accompanies it on the A-State campus. The $ 25 million donation allocates $ 20 million of that amount to construction and $ 5 million to an endowment for building maintenance.

“We are delighted to partner with A-State in this unique opportunity to advance visual art collaborations across all academic fields,” said Robyn Horn, Chairman of the Board of Windgate. “The arts are integral to learning and we appreciate the support the school and ASU Board members have given to the Bradbury Art Museum and the Center for Three-Dimensional Arts. We are confident that the new Hall of Art and Innovation will benefit both students and the community in many important ways. “

With this recent donation to A-State, Windgate becomes the largest benefactor in the university’s 112-year history with a total of just under $ 40 million in recent years.

“On behalf of every A-State student, alumnus, teacher, or staff member, I want to very humbly thank our good friends at Windgate for your challenge grant and your faith in the new vision we have for this. part of the State A Campus, ”said Damphousse.

The announcement also kicked off additional fundraising to tackle the building construction challenge and reveal other details of the district master plan surrounding the future Windgate Hall.

“Today is one of those days people remember years later, ‘Do you remember where you were when? »», Declared Damphousse. “This will be one of the defining moments in Arkansas State University’s history, and it will forever elevate our campus, our community and generations of future students.”

The giveaway celebration, held at the A-State Reng Student Union, highlighted the potential for collaboration between colleges towards the goals of infusing art into a wide range of other academic disciplines.

“Art is a part of every endeavor, and the goal of the Windgate Hall of Art and Innovation is to create a new program that fuses art, science, design and innovation,” said Damphousse. “Whether it’s a bridge, a building, or a business plan, when it’s great and stylish, we call it ‘a work of art.’ Windgate Hall will open collaborations between art and engineering, art and science, art and business, art and computer programming, art and a wide range of disciplines that we have not yet imagined.

Two specific academic areas were discussed for the initial collaborations. The Neil Griffin College of Business has been working with the Art + Design Department of the College of Liberal Arts and Communication (CLAC) on a proposal for a new Masters program in Digital Innovation to be submitted to the Higher Education Department of the Arkansas in early 2022. CLAC faculties are also starting discussions for further innovation collaborations with the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

“We know, from our alumni, industry and employers, that an interdisciplinary mindset is vital,” said Damphousse. “The market of tomorrow demands that we all have crossed skills. What we do today prepares students for a future economy that changes not every few years, but every few months.

Damphousse went back to similar turns in A-State’s past to provide a scale of the significance of the giveaway and the transformation plan for much of the campus.

“Each generation has seen a pivotal event in the history of our campus,” said Damphousse. “We haven’t seen a change like this since the closure of Caraway and Aggie to create a pedestrian campus core in the state of Arkansas. Today’s addition will dramatically improve and expand our life on campus.

Features of the neighborhood include numerous art walks and outdoor art exhibition areas that will tie into the existing campus-wide bicycle and pedestrian master plan. A new open-air performance amphitheater will serve several functions, from the large open-air classroom to the concert hall to the open collaboration space.

All plans align with several of the pillars of the # Discover2025 Strategic Plan for the State of Arkansas.

“Our campus agreed that an overhaul of our core curriculum was an important goal, along with identifying new and innovative areas of creative and research effort, creating new opportunities for collaboration with our communities – to both on and off campus, and creating a campus climate where we have a sense of belonging that invites people to want to come to work, teach, learn, do research and, yes, live and play, ”added Damphousse. “We can tick all of these boxes next to our goals with this bold initiative. “

The next steps in the process will begin next year with the start of an open fundraising period and more formal discussions related to the specifics of the Windgate Hall Anchor Installation, including further work to establish calendars for groundbreaking and construction schedules.

“The collaboration with our deans and alumni extends to these incredible opportunities for our friends and supporters to join us and be a part of the process,” said Damphousse. “Dr. Erika Krennerich Chudy, our Vice-Chancellor for Academic Advancement, and her Senior Director of Development Jessica Blackburn were instrumental in working with Windgate on today’s announcement. They will now begin to working with our deans and donors to meet the fundraising challenge. ”

About the Windgate Foundation

Established in 1993 and based in Little Rock, Arkansas, the Windgate Foundation is a private foundation dedicated to advancing contemporary crafts and strengthening visual arts education in the United States. The foundation also supports children and youth in the state of Arkansas. For more information: windgatefoundation.org.