Lee College awarded $300K performing arts grant

BAYTOWN – Lee College became the first community college awarded a $300,000 challenge grant by the Kresge Foundation, the second largest non-profit organization in the United States.

“We are delighted to support the construction of Lee College’s new performing arts center,” said Rip Rapson, president and CEO of the Kresge Foundation. “As you know, Kresge only recently extended eligibility to community colleges in our capital challenge grant program. With your strong commitment to access, diversity, community impact, and environmental sustainability, Lee makes an excellent first grant to a community college for us. We are pleased to support your organization and the strategic opportunity by your capital campaign to extend your private donor base.”

The grant is made on challenge basis to assist Lee College in completing the construction of the new performing arts center, which is set to open in December 2008. In order to receive the grant, Lee College must raise $548,000 by February 1, 2009 from the Baytown community and other private organizations.

“Lee College will use the Kresge grant as an opportunity to reach out to new donors and solicit higher levels of giving from past contributors,” said Interim President Dennis Topper.

Established by Sebastian S. Kresge, the foundation supports communities by building the capacity of nonprofit organizations in six areas: health, the environment, arts and culture, education, human services and community development. In 2007, the foundation approved 442 grants throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa, totaling $178 million.

“With the awarding of this grant, we are saluting the efforts of Lee College to improve conditions and advance opportunities in the Baytown community,” said Rapson.

The Performing Arts Center is a component of Lee College’s master plan, and in late 2006, tuition revenue bonds totaling $12 million were sold to cover the cost of the construction. For more information about the Performing Arts Center or to make a contribution to the Setting the Stage for Excellence Campaign, contact Roberta Wright at 281-425-6302 or email rwright@lee.edu.

For more information about the Kresge Foundation, visit www.kresge.org or call 248-643-9630.