Macalester Receives $150,000 Grant From F.R. Bigelow Foundation
January 13, 2011
CATEGORY: College News
St. Paul, Minn. - Macalester College has received a $150,000 grant from the F. R. Bigelow Foundation to support the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center renovation and expansion. The two-phase project, which begins this month, will expand and update the center’s facilities and enhance opportunities for cross-disciplinary dialogue and collaboration between the arts and the broader campus community.
“We are delighted and grateful to have the support of the F. R. Bigelow Foundation as we move forward with construction on the fine arts center,” Macalester President Brian Rosenberg said. “The arts are central to a high-quality liberal arts education, and this project will be pivotal to strengthening arts education at Macalester and the contributions alumni make as artists and art advocates.”
With a focus on funding programs that strengthen St. Paul’s neighborhoods, the Bigelow Foundation has a long history of supporting Macalester. Frederic Bigelow’s brother, Charles, served as president of Macalester’s Board of Trustees from 1925-36, and Frederic followed to lead the board from 1937-46.
“Frederic’s participation on the board of trustees launched a lifelong interest in Macalester,” Bigelow Foundation Program Officer Yvonne Barrett said. “Education was one of Frederic’s vital interests, and when the Bigelow Foundation held its first annual meeting in 1947, among the first grants made was a $10,000 grant to Macalester.” Since then, the foundation has granted a total of $3.6 million to Macalester.
On the cutting edge when it opened in 1965, Macalester’s fine arts center no longer meets the teaching and learning needs of faculty and students. Renovating and expanding the fine arts center was identified as one of three capital priorities for the current Step Forward campaign. The renovation and expansion will improve technology and broaden access and space for classes, student groups, exhibits, and performances, allowing more students to connect to the arts.
The first phase of the $33.8 million renovation and expansion will focus on the Music building, including the concert hall and rehearsal space, and create space for new Art History classrooms and a new Art Gallery. The design also converts the courtyard that links the Art, Music, Theatre and Dance spaces into an Arts Commons area to foster collaboration between the departments. The first phase is slated to be finished by fall 2012. After its completion, the second phase will renovate the Theatre and Dance and Art department facilities.
Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 1,987 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism and civic engagement.