Thea raises $2 million, Windgate adds another $500,000 | Rock Candy

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Thea raises $2 million, Windgate adds another $500,000

Posted By on Thu, Jul 23, 2015 at 1:39 PM

Tireless advocate for arts in education Paul Leopoulou
click to enlarge John Brown, Thea Foundation board president Gayla Jungmeyer, Paul Leopoulos and Linda Leopoulos with the $500,000 check presented by Brown.
  • John Brown, Thea Foundation board president Gayla Jungmeyer, Paul Leopoulos and Linda Leopoulos with the $500,000 check presented by Brown.
announced yesterday that the Thea Foundation has raised $2 million over the past two years to endow its scholarships for high school seniors, money that will allow Thea to focus its fund-raising efforts on its other educational programs.

Because Thea reached its goal, the Windgate Foundation of Siloam Springs awarded it another $500,000 for operating funds. Windgate, which provides numerous grants to arts organizations, has provided crucial support to Thea's A+ Arts Education initiative that uses the arts to teach across the curriculum, and John Brown, Windgate's director, presenting the check yesterday, called Leopoulos a great "evangelist," spreading the word on how art provides a pathway to learning math, science and literature. 

Thea has awarded 380 scholarships worth $2 million since 2002, awards that are leveraged by state colleges and universities several times over. (For example, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock matches Thea scholarships 7 to 1, so a Thea winner of $2,000 will receive another $14,000 from UALR, Leopoulos said.) Leopoulos described the scholarships as "inclusive": you don't have to have a certain grade point average and you don't have to use the scholarship to pursue a degree in the arts. The foundation awards 30 scholarships a year up to $4,000, and Leopoulos said he is eager to add to the scholarships. "We see the need out there," he said, adding that he is a "very impatient man" who wants to see the program continue apace.

Alex Zhang — one of the Arkansas Times' 2014 Academic All Stars — was among the scholarship winners in attendance at Thea's announcement yesterday and that's Zhang delivering a poem at Thea in the video above. In a video made at Thea's fundraiser "Into the Blue" held earlier this year at the Clinton Presidential Center, Zhang asked the audience, "What is art if not possibility? What is poetry if not the Scripture of life? Song if not God's breath in our lungs? Dance if not the fireworks of the body? What is Thea if not a super nova? If not the opening of a thousand galaxies in a child's heart, if not, for many people like me, the first glimpse into infinity?" Zhang is now a student at Yale University.

Paul and his wife, Linda Leopoulos, have poured heart and soul into their foundation, which honors their late daughter, Thea, whose exploration of the arts in high school gave her the confidence to succeed in subjects she formerly found daunting. The arts, Paul Leopoulos said, "generate civility, create and explain culture, create calmness that fosters peace and warms hearts and souls." The foundation has also provided schools across the state with $2.5 million in art supplies, thanks to contributions from companies. 

Tags: , , , , , , ,



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

  • Marjorie Williams-Smith solo show opens Friday at Hearne

    Hearne Fine Art will open the exhibition "The Messengers: A Survey of Work in Metalpoint by Marjorie Williams-Smith," the artist's first solo show at the gallery at 1001 Wright Ave., with a reception from 5-8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19.  Williams-Smith, one of the finest metalpoint artists in the country and one of our own, will give a talk about her work at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, at Hearne.
    • Oct 18, 2018
  • Brooke Miller comes to The Joint

    And more!
    • Oct 18, 2018
  • Marijuana dispensary scores could be ready by mid- to late November, commission told

    Public Consulting Group, the company hired by the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission to evaluate dispensary applications, said it will try to provide results to the commission within the 30 days agreed after receipt of the applications — by mid-November or late November at the latest.
    • Oct 16, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Coming Monday: Little Rock Black Restaurant Week

    MoTown Monday is Ceci's Chicken and Waffles. Tasty Tuesday is Sims BBQ and Brewster's Soul Food Cafe. Wing Wednesday is Chicken King and Chicken Wangs. Soul Food Thursday is Lindsey's BBQ and Hospitality House and Food Truck Festival Friday is @station801. It's the first Black Restaurant Week.
    • Mar 8, 2017
  • New music from Isaac Alexander

    New music from Isaac Alexander.
    • Jul 14, 2017
  • No Small Talk Ep. 8: Katy Henriksen, Springs Arts preview

    A packed episode this week of "No Small Talk": a chat with Katy Henriksen, from Of Note on KUAF; Stephanie Smittle breaks down the Spring Arts issue; and we finish up with just a tiny bit of Oscar chatter.
    • Mar 9, 2018

Most Recent Comments


© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation