Alumni, corporations donate to art programs at URI
KINGSTON, R.I. -- May 5, 1999 -- Taming a shrew is probably easier than
wrestling with a budget for the many arts programs produced, performed,
and exhibited at the University of Rhode Island.
But then, Shakespeare never met Dr. Winifred Brownell, interim dean of
URI,s College of Arts and Sciences.
"To sustain the level of quality of the University,s multiple arts
events, I realized we needed to seek out other resources," said Brownell,
noting that annually the University,s Theatre, Music and Art Departments
draw thousands of people to the URI Fine Arts Center in Kingston.
"I looked around the country and saw that businesses, corporations
and individuals were supporting the arts and wondered if what was being
done nationally, could be done for the University," said Brownell.
"The answer was a resounding Yes., Thanks to the philanthropy of law
firms, businesses and our loyal alumni, URI has been not only able to attract
talented local artists, but also internationally renowned performances and
offer these programs at affordable prices to the public and even more importantly
to our students."
During the past season, ChemArt of Lincoln, Peabody and Brown of Providence
, Landes Lombardi Associates, Inc. of Cranston, Ken and Sue Kermes of Wakefield,
Fred Kilguss and Nelda of Warwick, Tuition Management Systems of Newport,
and Edwards & Angell of Providence have all sponsored highly-successful
arts events at URI.
Kilguss, a 1959 URI alumnus and an attorney in Warwick, is helping to
sponsor the URI Theatre Department,s current production of The Taming of
"The measure of our society is the quality of its cultural arts,"
said Kilguss. Kilguss said he generally supports music programs, particularly
the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the Rhode Island Civic Chorale and
Orchestra. He applauds URI,s development efforts. "URI is creating
a new level of giving."
Peabody & Brown, a law firm with offices in Providence, Boston, Washington,
D.C. and Manchester, N.H., supported The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln
Center, performing an all-Mozart concert in URI,s Great Performance series
last year. The firm will sponsor the first Great Performance this fall,
thanks to strong recommendation of Attorney Peter Furness, a Peabody &
Brown partner and a 1979 URI alumnus. Furness has long been a supporter
of URI athletics, but says Brownell made a compelling case for the arts.
"I was happy to recommend that my firm support the URI arts program,"
he says. "The University has played an important role in my and my
family,s life. It has opened so many doors."
Tuition Management Systems, sponsored The Wiz. Jon Dodd, a 1984 alumnus
is co-founder and senior vice president. "I took my three children
and two of my brothers,. We had a blast! They,re still talking about it,"
says Dodd. "I,m a season ticket holder to basketball games. I love
sports, but there is something about theater that gives you defining moments.
You get it all"sight, song, emotion, lyrics. The company gives support
so that more people will be able to experience and enjoy it."
"These generous gifts help us enrich the lives of our students,
not just their academic lives," says Brownell. "The role of a
University is to give students quality experiences, including those outside
of the classroom."
Sponsorships range from $2,500 to $10,000, according to Tom Zorabedian,
assistant director of development, Division of University Advancement. "Sponsorship
of a concert, play or exhibit is an excellent opportunity to entertain customers,
prospects, employees, and friends, he said. Also, businesses receive the
benefit of an important donation with public exposure. In addition to program
recognition, several events include a named seat in the Fine Arts Center
Recital Hall, numerous tickets, and even a reception with the artists. There
are several excellent opportunities for sponsorship of next year,s musical
concerts, theater performances and arts exhibitions."
Individuals or corporations interested in sponsorships should contact
Zorabedian at 401-874-2853.
For More Information: Jan Sawyer, 874-2116