Icon (Close Menu)


Windgate Foundation Awards $3M to UA Little Rock for Art Education, Outreach

2 min read

The Windgate Foundation announced Thursday that it has awarded more than $3 million to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock for art outreach, acquisition, and to support education and outreach programs of the  university-affiliated nonprofit Children International.

The announcement is the latest in a series of multimillion-dollar Windgate contributions to higher education institutions, a series that  includes $20.3 million to UA Little Rock for its arts center that opened in 2018 and $30 million awarded last week to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville for the second phase of its arts district.

The first grant awarded Thursday, $1.56 million, will go to Children International, which offers school- and community-based programs that include after-school and summer programming, cooking classes, emergency food assistance, and college preparation and career training.

An endowed fund for operational expenses will be created with $1.5 million, while the remaining $60,000 will be a bridge grant for use in the next year.

Pat Forgy, the foundation’s executive director, in a news release urged others in the community to support Children International as the foundation has.

The second grant of $1 million will create an endowed art acquisition fund. Half will be used to purchase contemporary craft art and the other half will be used to purchase other art, all from living artists. 

Brad Cushman, director of the UA Little Rock Gallery Program said the foundation has been financially supporting the gallery since 2011 and has similarily supported major museums and art institutions across the country, putting his program and its collection “in prestigious company.”

He added that Windgate’s support had also helped the unversity’s program diversify its collection to include more works by women, Black, Hispanic/Latino, LGBTQ, and other artists.

The third recent grant, of $470,713, will continue to support art education outreach efforts for high school students and art teachers in Arkansas through December 2024. The final payment for 2023 is contingent upon an increase of students in UA Little Rock’s Art and Design Department. 

Windgate awarded the university $754,108 in November 2018, to establish a series of educational art workshops. The new grant will cover on-campus housing, meals, supplies, and instructional materials for the nonprofit’s free programs.

Send this to a friend