Houston Endowment Pledges $1.51 Million to UH Arts Initiative

Funding to Support Public Programs, Renovation of Campus Arts Facilities and Start of Center for Arts Leadership

As the University of Houston continues to grow, so does its commitment to creativity. UH has long been a haven for imaginative scholars, acclaimed authors and emerging student artists. The campus also has presented numerous groundbreaking public performances on campus and in the community. With significant support from Houston Endowment, UH’s focus on the arts is now stronger than ever.

Houston Endowment is providing the UH Arts initiative with a gift of $1.51 million that will assist with enhancements to UH’s arts facilities, provide resources for ongoing and new public programs and establish a new academic program dedicated to arts leadership.

“This generous grant from Houston Endowment represents an important endorsement of our vision of the arts at the University of Houston,” said John Roberts, dean of UH’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS). “The broad support that it provides ensures that UH Arts will remain a vital source of cultural enrichment for our students and a source of pride for the institution. Equally important, it makes a profound statement about the value of the university's arts programs to the cultural life of the city of Houston.”

UH will dedicate $545,000 from this gift toward renovating existing performance halls and constructing new spaces within the university’s Arts District (at Entrance 16 off Cullen Boulevard). The Lyndall Finley Wortham Theatre, Moores Opera House, Dudley Recital Hall and Organ Recital Hall will undergo renovations. A new student exhibition space will also be created in the Fine Arts Building.

The gift also will provide $715,000 toward UH public programs over three years. These funds will bolster established events such as the Houston Shakespeare Festival and Texas Music Festival and contribute $100,000 annually to support the development of new programs.

The university also will apply $250,000 from the gift toward the creation of the UH Center for Arts Leadership. This academic center will prepare students for professional careers in the arts. Curriculum will focus on entrepreneurship and management in all areas of the arts. Through the center, students can earn a master of arts in arts leadership and a certificate in arts entrepreneurship.

This gift complements previous support for the renovation of UH Arts District from the Cullen Trust for the Performing Arts ($1.5 million) and $175,000 from the Brown Foundation.

UH Arts comprises the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture, Blaffer Art Museum, the University Public Art Collection, and several schools and departments within CLASS. These include the Creative Writing Program, the Moores School of Music, the School of Art, the School of Theatre & Dance, and the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts.

UH Arts faculty includes a “who’s who” of noted authors, theater professionals, artists, architecture experts and musicians. These professors and instructors are seasoned scholars who contribute to the national arts landscape while grooming new generations of creative talents. UH Arts faculty includes Pulitzer Prize recipients, Tony Award winners, as well as Oscar and Grammy nominees. Faculty members also serve as fellows for prestigious organizations such as the Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, American Council of Learned Societies and United States Artists.

Through UH Arts academic programs, students can earn undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. They also gain valuable experience as artists through numerous performance, publishing and exhibition opportunities. Student artists also share their work with the Houston community and have presented their talents to audiences across the country and around the globe.

UH Arts public programs include premiere theater and musical productions, art and architectural exhibitions, literary readings and performances. Public events include the Houston Shakespeare Festival at Houston’s Miller Outdoor Theatre and the Texas Music Festival, which presents concerts throughout the Houston metropolitan area.

To learn more about UH Arts, visit http://www.uh.edu/uh-arts/index.php.