SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts paved the way toward the future of arts education with the kickoff of the Owen Arts Center renovation on November 8 during SMU Homecoming Weekend. The $34 million initiative will improve academic spaces in the north wing for visual arts, art history and creative computation, while creating grand, welcoming and accessible exterior entrances.
At the celebration, a $1.8 million challenge gift from Indianapolis philanthropist and former SMU Meadows parent G. Marlyne Sexton was announced, creating a new incentive for others to become part of this transformative project. Previously, Sexton had given $3.2 million toward the project, bringing her total commitment to $5 million.
With this new gift, Sexton encourages admirers of the arts to help the Meadows School reach the remaining $4 million needed for the revitalization of the arts hub, which will enrich the experiences of students and the commununity for years to come.
The renovation launched as the Meadows School of the Arts marks the 50th anniversary of its naming. Formally established at SMU in 1969 and named in honor of benefactor Algur H. Meadows, it is one of the foremost arts education institutions in the United States.
The commitment to excellence, entrepreneurial vision and devotion to community that Mr. Meadows embodied are captured in the reimagined Owen Arts Center, where creation and innovation will converge in new and exciting new ways.
“The improvements will serve as a catalyst for Meadows to attract the next generation of talented and diverse visual artists, art historians and multidisciplinary creatives and draw scholars and visitors from across the region and around the world,” SMU President R. Gerald Turner said. “We thank our donors for their generous support.”