Boettcher Foundation Grants $500,000 to CU-Boulder's New Visual Arts Complex

Published: March 5, 2009

The University of Colorado at Boulder announced today a $500,000 grant from the Boettcher Foundation for the new Visual Arts Complex.

Scheduled to open for classes in January 2010, the 170,000-gross-square-foot complex will be the new home of the art and art history department and the CU Art Museum in a pair of distinct but linked buildings. The building also will house CU's Permanent Art Collection in a climate-controlled setting.

"The complex will serve as a cultural gateway to the campus and allow students, faculty and visitors of all ages the opportunity to engage directly with the artistic accomplishments of cultures from around the world," said Lisa Tamiris Becker, director of the CU Art Museum.

One person who knows how important the Boettcher Foundation is to local arts education is Cassiope Sydoriak. A CU-Boulder art history and anthropology double major and a Boettcher scholarship recipient, Sydoriak had many unique opportunities thanks to the foundation's generosity.

"The Boettcher Foundation's contribution to the Visual Arts Complex at CU continues the trend of supporting arts and culture in Colorado," said Sydoriak. "It's time to give visual arts and art history students the gift of improved lighting, technology and other enhancements. I cannot wait to step inside the doors to see the new face of art on the CU campus."

Todd Gleeson, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at CU-Boulder, said finishing the Visual Arts Complex, with the help of donors like the Boettcher Foundation, will be a dream come true.

"The Boettcher gift moves CU-Boulder one step closer to realizing the dream of making this campus a true arts destination in the West," said Gleeson. "Everyone -- from art students to the general public -- will be able to enjoy the Visual Arts Complex for years to come. Literally and figuratively, the VAC will occupy a central place on campus, and this generous gift will emphasize the importance of the arts."

Garrison Roots, chair of the art and art history department, said the Boettcher gift will be the "foundation of our fundraising future for the VAC and a great example of their outstanding support for the arts, the university and the community in which we live."

Faculty and staff members are expected to start moving into the building in November and students will begin using it in January. The CU Art Museum is planned to open in the spring of 2010.

The estimated cost of the VAC is approximately $63.5 million, $10 million of which will come from private support raised through the University of Colorado Foundation. In 2004, students voted to impose a student fee for capital construction, which has provided a significant portion of the funding.

The Boettcher Foundation is a privately endowed grant-making organization dedicated to assisting, encouraging and promoting the residents of the State of Colorado. It has donated to the Denver Performing Arts Complex and the Denver Art Museum.