The Windgate Foundation has awarded a $6.4 million grant to Arkansas State University in Jonesboro for arts education and needs-based scholarships.
The grant, which ranks among the largest foundation gifts and is one of the top three all-time gifts to the arts at A-State, creates three endowments and provides immediate support.
"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," Chancellor Kelly Damphousse said.
The grant creates a $3 million scholarship endowment. Students will be eligible for those scholarships in the 2021-22 academic year. Details on how students will receive the Windgate scholarships will be determined later this month, and outreach to those who qualify for them will begin soon.
It also includes two gifts for the Bradbury Art Museum: a $2 million endowment for operations and programs and a matching grant of $30,000 for the "BAM Van," which will bring art programs to rural school districts.
"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," BAM Director Garry Holstein 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."
In addition, $1 million of the gift will go to a building maintenance endowment for the Windgate Center for Three-Dimensional Arts. The center itself was built with the help of a previous, $6.7 million Windgate grant.
Wednesday's announcement is the latest in a series of multimillion-dollar Windgate donations to universities, colleges and other institutions in the state. The foundation was endowed in 1993, using a gift of Walmart stock from Dorothea Hutcheson of Fort Smith.
Other Windgate donations in Arkansas include $20.3 million to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, $20 million to the University of Central Arkansas, and $40 million to UA Fayetteville for an entire arts district that will include the Windgate Studio & Design Center.