Arkansas arts angel the Windgate Charitable Foundation has awarded the Arkansas Repertory Theater a $1 million challenge grant and the John & Robyn Horn Foundation has approved a $25,000 challenge grant, The Rep announced today.

The Rep has already received $75,000 of the $1 million from Windgate for operating needs. The Horn grant is designated for general support.

The remainder of the Windgate grant, once matched, is to go to The Rep’s “Our Next Act” campaign to envision a sustainable model for the theater, which announced April 24 it was canceling the last play of its season suspending operations immediately. The school will continue to operate through the summer.

Ruth Shepherd, chairman-elect of The Rep’s board of directors, is quoted in The Rep’s release on the grants as saying, “With these gifts the Windgate and John & Robyn Horn Foundations have said loud and clear, ‘We believe in the future of a re-designed Rep.’ So now we need everyone to help us earn that match.”


A total of $122,000, from more than 420 people, has been donated to The Rep by actors, audience and friends in the 10 days since the April 24 announcement, The Rep’s director of development, Fran Carter, said.

Windgate has given millions to promote the arts in Arkansas in the past few years, including $40 million in 2017 to the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville to create an art and design district. Earlier gifts included $20.3 million to UA Little Rock and $15.5 million to UA Fort Smith for their fine arts buildings.