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NAC Receives $1.2 Million in Grants for Arts & Business

NAC is expanding their art studio and business school thanks to some major grants.

In recent press releases North Arkansas College announced they were the recipients of two grants that total $1.2 million.

From the Windgate Charitable Foundation NAC received $200,000 to expand their art studio. According to the release, “The $200K challenge grant will help add another 1,175 sq. ft. onto the current studio, doubling its size. An exterior deck will add 700 sq. ft. of outdoor space to the new studio to accommodate outside art activities and provide a view of the amphitheater and surrounding vista.

Rick Massengale, NAC president has a background in acting and knows the benefits of learning the arts. “The arts have the capacity to engage everyone, bringing people of all skill sets together to stretch their minds, allowing them to express themselves while learning from others. The studio expansion adds more room for students to work in as well as upgrading our current clay studio.”

Northark is also in the process of developing an outdoor art classroom in a courtyard adjacent to the art room that will facilitate outdoor art classes, workshops, and other college programs.

The Northark Foundation will offer sponsorship opportunities to the community as the project moves forward.

A request for proposal will be issued, and construction will begin during the spring semester with an anticipated completion in fall 2022. 

The second and largest of the two grants came from benefactors Stephen Lair and Steve Turner. They are making gift on $1 million to endow the Lair & Turner School of Business. Trustees voted to name the school in recognition of the gift during the last meeting, according the release.

Steve Turner said “We are honored and grateful for the opportunity to gift Northark and specifically the business school. Stephen and I believe the future economic growth of Harrison, the state of Arkansas and America is educating the talent of tomorrow; hopefully, our investment will have an impact.”

Dr. Rodney Arnold, executive director of the Foundation and vice president of institutional advancement said the donation will positively influence the quality of education students receive in the future, saying “This level of support will make a significant impact on the business opportunities we provide to students.  New experiences, programs and enhanced business offerings will directly stem from Mr. Turner and Mr. Lair’s gift. Their generosity is admirable.”   

Earnings from the endowment fund will be used to offset annual operating expenses of the Business Department at North Arkansas College.  The Lair & Turner School of Business is located inside the John Paul Hammerschmidt building on the south campus.

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