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Thea Foundation’s

2018-19 Statewide Impact

Since 2001, Thea Foundation’s statewide impact has grown each year to better serve Arkansas and further our continued mission to advocate the importance of Arts for the development of our youth. In 2018-19, Thea’s three areas of programming changed lives across the state, including providing the much-needed support for Arkansas public school teachers as well as awarding annual scholarships to a new graduating class of high school seniors.

Thea Scholarships

Thea’s annual scholarships remain a key resource for helping young people across the state receive financial help for higher education. Each of the six art-based competitions provide Arkansas seniors with an opportunity to find money for college based on their talent alone. Our first scholarship was awarded in 2002, and we’ve awarded more than $2.3 million in scholarships to Arkansas students since then. In 2019, we increased our amount of available scholarships from 30 to 36. During the 2019 scholarship season, we saw student participation from all over the state. 


Although Thea Foundation does not anticipate every student to explore furthering their education specifically in the arts, the 2019 winners do include students now attending prominent art schools, including The Savannah College of Art and Design as well as The University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

Below is the complete list of the 36 scholarship-winning students from across the state who received our support to pursue higher education beginning in fall 2019.


A strong majority of Thea’s scholarships are endowed. ​For those that are, the name(s) or organization attributed with the endowment are listed above the scholarships.

Visual Arts Winners

Thea Foundation Board Scholarship

Esther Crisler - 1st place, $4,000

Northwest Arkansas Classical Academy

Windgate Foundation Scholarship

Amber Alvizo - 2nd place, $3,500

Clarksville High School

Robyn Horn, Dede & Karen Hutcheson Scholarship
Kerryan Ptacek - 3rd place, $3,000
Bentonville West High School

Madison Brewer - 4th place, $2,500
Van Buren High School

Robin Orsi Family Scholarship
Lillian Greer - 5th place, $2,000
Little Rock Christian Academy

Olds Foundation Scholarship
Tiffany Hobson - 6th place, $2,000
Oden High School

Janet & Glenn Davis Scholarship
Paetyn Monroe - 7th place, $2,000
Van Buren High School

Munro Foundation Scholarship
Addison Harper - 8th place, $2,000
Sylvan Hills High School

Murphy USA Scholarship
Lucy Gatewood - 9th place, $2,000
Episcopal Collegiate School

Rita Curtis Memorial Scholarship
Margaret Maddison - 10th place, $2,000
Little Rock Christian Academy

Performing Arts Winners

Clinton Family Foundation Scholarship
Karlee Woody - 1st Place, $4,000
North Little Rock High School

Linda & Paul Leopoulos Scholarship
Rudy Fajardo - 2nd place, $3,500
Parkview Arts and Science Magnet High School

Hammonds/McDonald Scholarship
Lena Martin - 3rd place, $3,000
Arkansas Arts Academy

Charles A. Frueauff Scholarship
Briya Alford - 4th place, $2,500
Conway High School

Lawrence Hamilton Memorial Scholarship
Sophia Young - 5th place, $2,000
Little Rock Central  High School

Lindsey Robison East Memorial Scholarship
Asher Patten - 6th place, $2,000
Harding Academy

Charles Louis Cabe Jr. Memorial Scholarship
Rainey Ross - 7th place, $2,000
Cabot High School

Heflin Family Foundation Scholarship
Cooper Sikes - 8th place, $2,000
Parkview Arts and Science Magnet High School

Wesley K. Clark, II Scholarship
Lauren Flohr - 9th place, $2,000
Bentonville High School

Robert T. & Elizabeth W. Seibert Scholarship
Marilyn Ronnel - 10th place, $2,000
Little Rock Central High School

Slam Poetry Winners

Jamee McAdoo - 1st place, $4,000
Little Rock Central High School

Jasmine Willis - 2nd place, $3,500
Alma High School

Harmon Tobler - 3rd place, $3,000
Parkview High School

McKinzie Batson - 4th place, $2,500
Parkview High School

Zainab Shah - 5th place, $2,000
Little Rock Central High School

Creative Writing Winners

Elizabeth Wilkinson Scholarship
Verity Miller - 1st place, $4,000
Conway High School

Dr. Ben Meade & Jane Hunt Scholarship
Harrison Roberts - 2nd place, $3,500
Little Rock Christian Academy

Dena Reynolds Memorial Scholarship
Kylie Wilkins - 3rd place, $3,000
Bentonville High School

Savanna Watts - 4th place, $2,500
Perryville High School

Trevor Speight - 5th place, $2,000
Mena High School

Fashion Design Winners

Jeanne McNeill Johansson Scholarship
Jennifer Mendoza - 1st place, $4,000
Hall High School

John Bailey Scholarship
Allison Stickler - 2nd place, $3,500
Harrisburg High School

Film Winners

Dorothy and Walter Morris Foundation Scholarship
Andrew Verkler - Screenwriting, $2,500
Greenbrier High School

Kye-Yak International Scholarship
Brett Helms - Directing, $2,500
Fayetteville High School

Natalie and Win Rockefeller Scholarship
John Arellano - Cinematography, $2,500
Har-Ber High School

Jasmin Gonzales - Editing, $2,500
Lakeside High School

Thea's Art Closet

Thea’s Art Closet, an online funding effort in partnership with DonorsChoose for Arkansas teachers to submit art supplies requests to, awarded $54,835 in art supplies and creative materials for schools, impacting 27,063 students and supporting 117 public school teachers across the state. After matching funds, the total amount awarded was $118,919. To date, Thea’s Art Closet has given more than $1.5 million in art supplies to hundreds of underfunded schools across the state, making the arts accessible for students in high-poverty areas and classrooms with little-to-no budget for art supplies and other creative materials.

Below is a distribution map of Thea’s Art Closet projects funded across the state during the 2018-19 school year.


During the 2019-20 school year, Thea Foundation will fund $100k in support before matching funds—providing teachers with the opportunity to now submit four projects per school year, up from two. Thea Foundation continues to explore new marketing tactics for areas of the state unaware of our available resources.

Thea's Arts Reconstruction

Beginning in 2014, Thea Foundation initiated partnerships with cultural institutions and arts organizations to amplify existing arts programming in schools. Currently, Arts Reconstruction is our focused effort to help teachers receive professional development and supplies to enable a better platform to advance in their own careers and schools. By providing training in new visual arts mediums, Thea Foundation helps enhance lesson planning and subsequently, gives students further exposure to ways in which they can create. In conjunction with the professional development, Thea also provides all necessary supplies to execute the new medium in each participating teacher's classroom. 

In June 2019, Thea Foundation, in partnership with UA Little Rock’s Windgate Center for Art + Design, hosted over a dozen Arkansas public high school teachers for a week-long training for cyanotype. The individual impact of our professional development provided can be viewed in our Q&A series with participating teachers on our blog.

Thea Foundation funded $45,000 in supplies for the 2018-19 Arts Reconstruction teachers to implement the new visual arts medium in their classrooms beginning in the fall semester of 2019.

Community Involvement

Unique Exhibitions

In 2018-19, Thea Foundation’s Argenta gallery space hosted student art from Parkview Arts and Science Magnet High School. Every October, we continue to host a special exhibition from Arkansas Children’s Hospital’s patients and their artists-in-residence. Also during the fall of 2018, Thea Foundation hosted a special exhibition of teachers’ work from the teachers who took part in the summer 2018 professional development week—part of our Arts Reconstruction program.


The Art Department

The Art Department, Thea’s quarterly art exhibition series, continues to remain a popular way for the foundation to connect with new members of the community. In 2018-19, our Argenta gallery held independent artists exhibitions from Carmen Alexandria Thompson, Joshua Asante, Joëlle Storet, and Bryant Phelan. Each exhibition opening was well-attended and artists were successful in selling their art, which Thea Foundation received a percentage of sales from.

Note: Thea Foundation’s annual chalk-art event, Thea Paves the Way, was unfortunately cancelled in September 2018 due to weather.

Annual Fundraisers

Blue Plate Special

Thea Foundation’s Blue Plate Special was held at the Capital Hotel on Monday, October 15, 2018. The annual fundraiser featured a fresh crop of Arkansas’s favorite chefs and mixologists, assisted by local artists, musicians and celebrities and accompanied by the music of Dr. Danny Fletcher and Co. The Blue Plate Special was presented by Malvern National Bank, a longtime supporter of the Thea Foundation and its mission of advocating and expanding the arts in Arkansas schools, and chaired by Rusty Mathis, General Manager of Ben E. Keith Foods Mid-South.

Thea Foundation raised


from the 2018 Blue Plate Special


Thea Foundation raised


from the 2019 Into the Blue event experiences


Through other unique events and additional fundraising efforts, Thea Foundation raised


in 2018-19 to support our important mission.


Into the Blue

In spring 2019, the Into the Blue event was expanded into two special events celebrating the impact of Thea Foundation. The first event, held in April at the Junior League of Little Rock, highlighted the strings program funded by Thea’s Arts Reconstruction program. In May, the evening of entertainment highlighting our performing arts scholarship opportunity was held at UA Pulaski Tech’s CHARTS Theater. Thea Foundation Board of Directors Vice President Trish Roberson served as the chair for both of the event experiences. The Charles A. Frueauff Foundation received the 2019 Pillar of the Arts Award for their continued  philanthropic work, awarding over $165M representing more than 9,200 grants throughout the country. During the May event, five Thea performing arts scholarship winners performed, including the 2019 first-place winning student, Karlee Woody. 

Thank You to Our Thea Supporters 

Thea's statewide efforts would not be possible without our generous donors and the grants we're given to help continue to support arts education and creative learning across the state of Arkansas.


Arkansas Auto Dealers Association

C. Louis & Mary C. Cabe Foundation

Patricia Carlton

Centennial Bank

Colonial Wines & Spirits

Janet and Glenn Davis

Dean Dental Solutions

Delta Dental


Caroline Elliott



Gert and General Wesley Clark

Joe Griffith

Rusty Guerra

Linda and Rush Harding

Robyn and John Horn

Keesal Young and Logan

Cassie and Jason LaFrance

Vickie and Jackie Lackie

Eva and Greg Eva Lathrop

Legacy Termite & Pest Control

Little Rock School District

Malvern National Bank

Jo and Presley Melton

Larry Middleton

Stephen Middleton

Mitchell Williams Law Firm

Dorothy Morris

North Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau

Joi and Mark Pryor

Trish and Steve Roberson

Roberson's Fine Jewelry

Natalie and Win Rockefeller

Southland Gaming

Southwest Power Pool

Taggart Architects

The Murphy Foudation

UA Pulaski Tech


US Bank


Boots and Allen Warwick

Wells Fargo

Ginger and Terry White

Marilyn and Pete Zornik

Other Major Donors

Agis Leopoulos

Manatos & Manatos

Clinton Family Foundation

Additional Donors for Scholarship Endowment

Curtis Finch 

Sue Gaskin

Steve Jonsson 

Gayla Jungmeyer

Rusty Mathis

Warwick Sabin 

John and Kay Smith 

Jeff and Leslie Smith 

Mary and Jim Wohlleb

Grants Received

Allegra Printing
Arkansas Arts Council
Arvest Bank

CenterPoint Energy

City of North Little Rock

Enterprise Holdings

Frueauff Foundation

John and Robyn Horn Foundation

UA Bank Foundation

Windgate Charitable Trust

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