Valencia, CA, October 16, 2007 --Steven D. Lavine, President of California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) announced that the Trustees of The Kresge Foundation  have approved a challenge grant of $1 million towards the construction of The Wild Beast--an innovative music pavilion on the CalArts campus. The Kresge Foundation grant is made on a challenge basis to assist in raising funds for the construction of the building and for The Campaign for CalArts.
The CalArts School of Music has nearly doubled in size from 136 students in 1990 to 259 in 2007. The Wild Beast will provide the space required to accommodate the activities of the School's growing enrollment. Designed by the Los Angeles-based architectural firm Hodgetts + Fung, the 3,200 square-foot building will adapt to classes, small recitals and large public performances.
"The Kresge Foundation challenge grant is a thrilling development," said Steven Lavine. "It not only makes it possible for us to construct this versatile new building, but the challenge component offers wonderful incentives for donors to participate in the final phases of our capital campaign."
The $3 million construction and landscaping costs for The Wild Beast are funded through The Campaign for CalArts which is focused on raising support for three critical priorities at CalArts: growing the endowment, sustaining current programs and supporting capital projects. Expanding facilities for music students and building The Wild Beast is an important component of the campaign, which, as of October 3, 2007, has raised $114 million towards its $125 million goal.
Rip Rapson, President and CEO of The Kresge Foundation, indicated that "with the aid of this challenge grant, we hope that The Campaign for CalArts can become an even more strategic opportunity for the Institute to connect with stakeholders and reach out to new donors, volunteers, participants, and the general community. CalArts' compelling plan to sustain the higher levels of giving after the campaign concludes will help strengthen the organization well into the future."
As the lead donor, CalArts supporter Abby Sher named the building The Wild Beast in tribute to contemporary American composer Morton Feldman and collaborated with Hodgetts + Fung to bring the project into focus. The structure is named for Feldman's reference to the illusive space in a work of art between subject and surface where meaning resides. Other significant support came from former trustee Richard Seaver, who passed away in June and included The Wild Beast in his extensive philanthropic legacy at CalArts; and Meshulam Riklis whose daughter, Kady Riklis, is an alumna of the School of Music.
California Institute of the Arts
CalArts, the first U.S. higher educational institution to integrate the visual and performing arts under one roof, is recognized as the nation's leading laboratory for the arts. Housing six schools--Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music and Theater--CalArts embraces creative cross-pollination among diverse art forms and traditions and strongly encourages each artist to pursue his or her vision within a broad context of social and cultural understanding.
The Kresge Foundation
The Kresge Foundation is a national foundation with $3 billion in assets. Through its grant making programs, The Kresge Foundation seeks to strengthen nonprofit organizations by catalyzing their growth, connecting them to their stakeholders, and challenging greater support through grants. The Kresge Foundation's core grant making activity is its Capital Challenge Grants program. In this program, the Foundation focuses on opportunities to strengthen leadership and giving through challenge grants for capital projects. Projects supported include the construction and renovation of facilities, acquisition of property, and purchase of equipment.