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Sackler gift helps create
artists' think tank
March 1, 1999

An institute that will bring distinguished artists and scholars to the University to explore current issues and future directions in music, drama and art has been created in the School of Fine Arts.

The Raymond and Beverly Sackler Master Artists Institute, a "think tank" for the arts, will bring master artists and scholars to the school at least once each year to "explore crucial and creative issues" in music, drama or art, says Robert Gray, dean of the School of Fine Arts. These Sackler Master Artists will offer their expertise and facilitate dialogue with invited dignitaries, artists, faculty and students in an annual conference and in master classes for students.

The program will significantly complement the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Artists-in-Residence Program for the Advancement of the Arts, says Gray. That program brings one major artist to the school each year to live and work with students and faculty while creating a new work of art, a new play or a new musical composition. The first two participants in the program have been playwright Migdalia Cruz and internationall y distinguished artist Susan Coe.

There will be occasions when the new artistic works created by the artist-in-residence will suggest the topic for the next Institute event, one enriching the other, says Gray. At other times, the Institute session may inspire the resident artist and add new aspects to the work-in-progress, he notes. "Together, the two programs will bring critical praise and attention that will be focused on expanding the creative force of the school while adding significantly to contemporary art and culture," Gray says.

Gray plans to create an advisory board for the Institute composed of leading figures in the arts.

Raymond and Beverly Sackler, of Greenwich, are longtime generous supporters of philanthropic activities, particularly in the areas of art, medicine, biological and natural sciences, mathematics and archaeology.

Sherry Fisher