In 1969, Meadows School of the Arts was named in honor of Algur H. Meadows, legendary businessman, art collector and philanthropist. “Meadows at the Winspear” on April 4 launches the 50th anniversary celebration of the school’s naming. The annual spring concert will honor The Meadows Foundation, which has supported SMU and Dallas since it was established in 1948.
The event raises funds to support talented Meadows students through the Meadows Scholars Program. It also honors a community leader, and this year, the honoree is The Meadows Foundation. The honorary chairs are Linda and Bill Custard, and the event chair is Stacey McCord.
The concert will feature the critically acclaimed Meadows Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of conductor Paul Phillips, and the students of the Meadows Dance Ensemble performing three new works, each set to well-known 20th-century music.
The works include Takehiro Ueyama’s ethereal Heroes, set to John Adams’ The Chairman Dances; Broadway choreographer Alex Sanchez’s lively interpretation of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue; and Dwight Rhoden’s vibrant ballet, Stellar Matter, set to an orchestral suite from Gustav Holst’s The Planets.
The Meadows Foundation: Supporting SMU and Dallas since 1948
The Meadows Foundation traces its historic partnership with SMU back to the early 1960s, when Algur Meadows, an avid art collector, donated his Spanish art collection to SMU in honor of Virginia after her passing, along with a $1 million endowment to create the Virginia Meadows Museum within the Owen Arts Center. Mr. Meadows later donated his collection of sculptures by contemporary Italian artists to SMU to establish the Elizabeth Meadows Sculpture Garden, named in honor of his second wife. The museum and garden opened in the Owen Arts Center in 1965. He also gave a $10 million gift to the SMU School of the Arts, and in gratitude, the SMU Board of Trustees renamed the school Meadows School of the Arts in 1969.
The Meadows Foundation has continued its generous support of initiatives and causes across SMU over the decades, and in 2015 announced a gift of $45 million to the Meadows School and the Meadows Museum – the largest single gift in SMU’s history. The momentous gift made the Foundation the only entity to provide SMU more than $100 million in financial resources to a singular area of focus: the education and promotion of the arts.