The Lumpkin Family Foundation and Richard Lumpkin have pledged $2 million to support new community arts programs that will be housed in Eastern Illinois University’s renovated Doudna Fine Arts Center.
The gift to EIU’s New and Emerging Artist Series Endowment will assist in the creation of an annual series of outstanding musical performances for the community to enjoy, as well as related educational opportunities for area school children.
"Our family has always believed in the importance of the arts, and we're excited to imagine how many lives will be positively touched by the cultural experiences that will be available at the Doudna Fine Arts Center," said Richard Lumpkin, treasurer of The Lumpkin Family Foundation. "We are happy to be a part of what promises to be a stellar offering of the arts here in east-central Illinois."
The wing of the Doudna Fine Arts Center containing the black box theatre, the movement studio and the main stage theatre is to be named the Lumpkin Family Theater Wing in memory of three generations of Lumpkin women, Besse, Mollie and Gail, who devoted much of their lives to promoting the arts and improving the quality of life in east-central Illinois.
The building, designed by world-renowned architect Antoine Predock, is to open to the public next fall. It will house the art, music and theatre departments.
"Richard Lumpkin and The Lumpkin Family Foundation recognize the importance of the new Doudna Fine Arts Center to central Illinois, both from a cultural viewpoint and an economic viewpoint," said EIU President Bill Perry. "We deeply appreciate their support and commitment to this magnificent new facility and the wonderful opportunities it will provide."