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Thea Foundation Announces $50,000 Challenge Match With Support From Windgate Foundation

Updated: Jun 11


Thea Foundation will launch its $50,000 Challenge Match with support from the Windgate Foundation on Tuesday, May 5. For several weeks, Thea Foundation has closed its physical doors temporarily and cancelled all public events, including important fundraisers. The organization asks for donations to continue to be a resource for the 33,000 public school teachers in Arkansas as Thea’s Art Closet program aims to still provide $100,000 in art supplies and creative materials for the 2020-21 academic year beginning in August.

“If you know Thea Foundation, then you know how their mission to encourage participation in the arts can change lives,” said Windgate Foundation Executive Director ​Patricia Forgy. “Students often ‘come alive’ emotionally, socially and academically when given the encouragement and the opportunity to create. This mission fits perfectly with Windgate Foundation’s longstanding support of art-integrated education programs across the United States. We cherish and value the work Thea Foundation does and are honored to be among their many supporters.”


The Windgate Foundation has already committed $50,000 for Thea’s Art Closet available budget for the next academic year. Since 2009, the Windgate Foundation has donated over $500,000 in support of Thea's Art Closet program founded to aid public school educators who lack available funding for supplies needed to implement creative learning and arts education for their students.

“We sincerely can’t thank the Windgate Foundation enough for being an ongoing partner of Thea’s Art Closet,” said Thea Foundation Executive Director Nick Leopoulos. “Without our donors, we would be unable to be the resource so many teachers in Arkansas have come to depend on. The annual increase in interest for Thea’s Art Closet continues to highlight the tremendous need from teachers who often end up spending a portion of their own limited salaries to cover the expenses for supplies.”

Since 2007, Thea’s Art Closet has funded more $1.5 million​ in art supplies and creative materials to underfunded schools across the state. ​Prior to school closings in March, Thea’s Art Closet budget for the 2019-20 academic year was 95% spent. Achieving these results, even with early school closings due to the pandemic, truly reinforces the need for statewide programs to support Arkansas educators.


On May 5, Thea Foundation will take part in Giving Tuesday Now. ​Giving Tuesday, the global philanthropy event typically only held the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, is now promoting a newly established Giving Tuesday Now in light of COVID-19’s impact on nonprofits. ​The organization will leverage this global giving day as the kick off of the Challenge Match to raise $50,000 for Thea's Art Closet and other statewide programs.

To donate to Thea Foundation, visit​ ​our donation page or contact Jennifer Owens Buie at ​jennifer@theafoundation.org​ or by phone at (501) 951-0374.

About Thea Foundation Thea Foundation’s mission is to advocate the importance of the Arts in the development of our youth. Three programs are implemented statewide to support this mission—Thea Scholarships, Art Closet and Arts Reconstruction. Since 2002, Thea Foundation has awarded more than $2.3 million in scholarships to Arkansas students and provided more than $1.5 million in art supplies and creative materials to underfunded schools through our Art Closet program. In addition, 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. Our collective aim is to enrich young minds through the power of the Arts. Named for the daughter of Paul and Linda Leopoulos, Thea Foundation carries on the legacy of Thea Kay Leopoulos, who thrived academically, socially and emotionally thanks to her artistic pursuits. More at ​@TheaFoundation​ or ​Thea Foundation Blog​.


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