Tuesday, Jul. 19, 2011 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA - Grinnell College announces a $40,000 community challenge to help the Grinnell Area Arts Council build an endowment.  For every two dollars in new endowment gifts given to the Arts Council, Grinnell College will donate one dollar toward immediate capital needs, including improvements to the Arts Council building and equipment purchases.

Monica Chavez-Silva, director of Community Enhancement and Engagement, explains the gift is intended to help the Arts Council maintain its strong momentum in redeveloping the Stewart Library building while continuing to expand its public offerings.

"Grinnell College is proud to provide this challenge grant to support the Grinnell Area Arts Council, its creative programming and its restoration of the Stewart building. The arts are an important part of any community's well-being," said Grinnell President Raynard S. Kington, M.D., Ph.D., adding, "One of the things my family has enjoyed since moving to Grinnell is the wide variety of cultural offerings available to the community. We are very fortunate to live in a town with such an active arts community."

Tom Lacina, president of the Grinnell Area Arts Council, says the Arts Council is thrilled to have this support from Grinnell College to kick off the public phase of the endowment campaign. “The College recognizes by their gift for immediate use that the needs of today do not disappear during an endowment campaign. The business of today and all the tomorrows need support.”  

Grinnell College’s Arts Council endowment challenge is the latest in a pattern of support for local cultural programming including prior gifts totaling $12,000 to the Stewart Building re-development and equipment needs; bulk ticket purchases to Arts Council and Grinnell High School theatrical performances for faculty, staff, and students; and “Volunteer Initiative Program” donations to the Arts Council in recognition of the volunteer efforts by employees Connie Newport and Claire Moisan.  For more information about Grinnell College’s community investments and sponsorships, visit: http://www.grinnell.edu/offices/communityenhance.