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Thea Foundation Receives $10,000 Gift From New Argenta Neighbor First Orion

Updated: Apr 30


Thea Foundation announced today that it has received a $10,000 gift from First Orion, an industry-leading telecommunications company soon to be headquartered just two blocks away from the nonprofit’s Argenta office and gallery in downtown North Little Rock. This extraordinary gift will support Thea Foundation’s statewide programs in advance of its summer initiative to raise funds to help stock Thea’s Art Closet budget prior to the 2020-21 academic year

First Orion’s contribution is the first of many Thea Foundation hopes to receive as an official call for support of Thea’s Art Closet will kick off on May 5 in participation with Giving Tuesday Now, a global giving day in light of the pandemic’s impact on nonprofits. For over a month, Thea Foundation has closed its physical doors temporarily and cancelled all public events, including several fundraisers.

“First Orion is trying to do everything we can to help Central Arkansas during this difficult time. The need has gone up - and the funding has gone down - so we’re hoping to help our community fill those gaps,”​ said First Orion Chairman & CEO Charles Morgan.

Since 2007, Thea’s Art Closet program has funded more $1.5 million​ in art supplies and creative materials to underfunded schools across the state. As research continues to show arts educators typically use a portion of their own salary to purchase supplies, the program enables Arkansas teachers to easily submit project requests via DonorsChoose, an online giving platform. For the current academic year, Thea Foundation had already spent over 90% of its $100,000 annual budget for the program prior to school closings due to the pandemic. This translated to funding over 200 projects and impacting over 40,000 Arkansas students from districts all over the state.

“When the new school year begins later this year, the teachers who depend on us will be waiting with projects in need of funding,” said Leopoulos. “Our supporters are vital to the success of our programs and allow us to be a resource for more and more public school educators each year.”

Thea Foundation’s Challenge Match to raise $50,000 for Thea's Art Closet will begin the first week of May. The program currently has $50,000 already committed for the 2020-21 Art Closet budget from the Windgate Foundation, which has supported the nonprofit since 2009. Thea Foundation expects the need for funding to grow in tandem with the awareness of the available support as connections are made with new administrators and teachers in Arkansas.

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

About First Orion Processing over 90 billion calls annually, First Orion​ powers communication transparency solutions for T-Mobile, Metro by T-Mobile, Boost Mobile, Sky, Virgin Mobile and Sprint Prepaid mobile networks along with PrivacyStar and other mobile apps. Established in 2008 and led by Charles Morgan (former Founder & CEO of Acxiom), First Orion is headquartered in North Little Rock, Arkansas, has offices in Seattle, London, and Dubai, and employs nearly 250 people globally. More at​ www.firstorion.com​,​ @FirstOrionCorp​ or​ First Orion Blog​.

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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