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BHP Billiton Awards $30,000 to Thea's Art Closet


Thanks to a $30,000 gift from BHP Billiton, the second largest natural gas producer in the Fayetteville Shale, Thea Foundation is delivering art supplies to 13 North Central Arkansas high schools this month through its Thea’s Art Closet program.

Thea Foundation will gift art supplies to the following schools selected in cooperation with BHP Billiton: Heber Springs High School, Quitman High School, Wonderview High School, Guy-Perkins High School, Clinton High School, Shirley High School, Bald Knob High School, White County Central High School, Riverview High School, Pangburn High School, Rose Bud High School, Greenbrier High School, and Searcy High School.

“It has been proven that students who participate in art education benefit academically,” said Paul Leopoulus, executive director of Thea Foundation. “These supplies should provide an immediate and long-term benefit for these students and schools.”

Art instructors from each school were asked to design their own art supply wish list based on the needs of each school. Needs range from items as basic as pencils to more specialized tools like kilns for firing sculptures. Teachers from every high school on the list expressed their surprise and gratitude for the grants, which in many cases more than doubled their annual art supplies budgets.

“We hope these supplies encourage our art instructors and their students, and we appreciate Thea Foundation for allowing us to partner with them in providing these supplies,” said Danny Games, Corporate Affairs Manager for BHP Billiton.