Member Spotlight on the Windgate Charitable Foundation
For the months of November and December, GIA's photo banner features art supported by the Windgate Charitable Foundation. The Windgate Charitable Foundation is a private family foundation established in 1993. The Foundation’s giving is primarily focused on supporting the visual arts, studio artists, and public schools through projects in art education, visual arts, and a model K-12 arts-based core education program. Windgate funds programs that provide opportunities in the arts with grants for program support, scholarships, visual arts exhibitions, and capital funds. Executive Director, John E. Brown, shares some highlights of 2015 from the Windgate Foundation:
The 2015 year was especially exciting with the completion of a new "Windgate Arts & Design” building on the UA-Fort Smith campus and also a UA-Little Rock arts building ground-breaking. We are pleased to be part of both projects, which will have such a far reaching impact on higher education and economic development in Arkansas. These new facilities will enrich the learning experience for all students, and also draw many top students seeking careers in fields related to visual arts, design, and creative use of new technologies.
The Windgate Foundation’s long-standing commitment to improving learning in public schools was also recognized last August as the North Carolina Arts Council celebrated the 20th anniversary of the “A+ Schools” integrated arts model, which was originated in that state, and whose leadership has helped mentor new A+ School program start-ups in three other states to date. The Foundation now supports the successful A+ Schools statewide networks in AR, OK, LA, and NC. It also helps fund a quarterly collaboration of these states through the “National A+ Schools Consortium” (NASC).
For the past two years, the Windgate Foundation has also funded a distance education project with the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. The project has already developed two online high school credit courses and created new networks for classroom access through the Arkansas Department of Education and other national platforms. The courses can be used for distance education in rural or high poverty schools, where access to arts institutions and resources may be limited. This collaboration is showing great promise for new and innovative approaches to enhanced educational attainment through arts-based learning.
The Windgate Charitable Foundation has been a member of GIA since 2002.
You can also visit the photo gallery on our Photo Credits page.