An award of more than $3 million to UA Little Rock is the latest multimillion gift from the Windgate Foundation to the university to support its arts education.

The newest gift from the foundation, which gave UALR $20.3 million in 2015 to build the state-of-the-art Windgate Center of Art and Design, will create a maintenance fund for the WCAD.

The foundation has made numerous grants to the university; last year, it awarded UALR a grant of $754,108 to expand arts outreach. It contributes to scholarships and art acquisitions and was instrumental in creating the unique applied arts division of the art department.

When the 64,000-square-foot WCAD opened in 2018, it added to the campus two galleries, a lecture hall, two floors of classroom space, and studios for printmaking, photography, sculpture, metalsmithing and jewelry, ceramics, furniture and woodworking.

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From a news release on the gift:

“The generous gift by the Windgate Foundation for the creation of a building maintenance endowment for the Windgate Center could not have come at a better time,” said UA Little Rock Chancellor Christina Drale. “The upkeep of facilities and grounds across the campus is of critical significance to the university’s capability to fulfill its mission and provide a transformational educational experience for our students.”

The gift will be used to establish a maintenance endowment fund for the Windgate Center of Art and Design. The endowment will finance long-term major capital renewal and maintenance projects for the Windgate Center. In addition to the endowed fund, the foundation gave a gift of $42,020 to be used this year for immediate maintenance needs.

“Nobody wants to learn or work in a place that is not properly maintained, and it makes sense to support the Center of Art + Design building into the future,” said Patricia Forgy, executive director of the Windgate Foundation. “This attention to infrastructure by UA Little Rock leadership will benefit both students and our community by providing a well-kept and welcoming place for learning and collaboration.”

On exhibit now at WCAD: “Contemporary British Studio Ceramics (Part 2),” works from the collection of the Arkansas Arts Center, in the Brad Cushman Gallery, and “Landscapes,” drawing and photography, in the Small Gallery.

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