Elaine Wynn Donates $5 Million to the Smith Center for the Performing Arts to Create the Elaine Wynn Studio for Arts Education

Dec 14, 2010, 10:00 ET from The Smith Center

LAS VEGAS, Dec. 14, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Philanthropist Elaine Wynn has made a commitment of $5 million to establish The Elaine Wynn Studio for Arts Education at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, it was announced today. The gift is the largest contribution from any individual to The Smith Center, a $470 million performing arts and education center in downtown Las Vegas.

"We are incredibly thankful for both the donation and support Elaine Wynn has shown The Smith Center from its inception," said Donald D. Snyder, Chairman of the Board of The Smith Center. "The Elaine Wynn Studio will serve as a source of inspiration and exploration for school children across the Las Vegas community. This contribution exemplifies Mrs. Wynn's decades-long commitment to enhancing life for all Las Vegans and her specific focus on education which has been nothing short of extraordinary."

The Elaine Wynn Studio will include classrooms, conference rooms and offices for education program staff, interns and artists in residence. It will be housed in the five-story, 70,000 square-foot Boman Pavilion. The building's two performance spaces, a studio theater and cabaret theater, will also be used for children's theater and educational programming.

"The arts are not meant to exist for only a select few. Why wouldn't we want all of our children to experience creativity, either as artists themselves or people who delight in or are stimulated by the works of others?" said Elaine Wynn. "With exposure and guidance, children can partake in the passion and joy of individual expression. No matter what one's circumstance, no negative condition can rob the soul of imagination and longing. This is a lesson we must pass on to our children."

Future events in the Elaine Wynn Studio will include hands-on learning experiences with performing and visual artists, master-classes, workshops and individualized instruction from established artists. 

"The Elaine Wynn Studio for Arts Education will provide an exemplary teaching and learning environment to support the growth of The Smith Center's education programming and community outreach activities," said Mr. Snyder.  

Mrs. Wynn is a board member of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, which recently designated Las Vegas as its fourth partner city for Any Given Child, a program that creates a long-range arts education plan for students in grades K-8. The Smith Center's leadership in pursuing the Any Given Child program in partnership with the community and the Clark County School District is the latest reflection of the central role of education and community outreach at The Smith Center.  

Acknowledging the central role of education and community outreach at The Smith Center, long before groundbreaking for the complex, a department was created to focus on arts education programs for local students, teachers and residents. In the more than four years since, The Smith Center has reached hundreds of teachers and students through partnerships with critically-acclaimed education programs such as the Kennedy Center Partners in Education Program and the Southern Nevada Wolf Trap Early Learning Through the Arts. 

About The Smith Center - The Smith Center for the Performing Arts is a public/private partnership that will become the centerpiece of cultural life in Las Vegas offering a blend of performances by resident companies as well as first-run touring attractions. The 5-acre cultural campus will feature three performance spaces including the 2,050-seat Reynolds Hall with refined acoustics and the Boman Pavilion housing a cabaret jazz space and a studio theater,  all complemented by the DISCOVERY Children's Museum. The Smith Center will be a living room for Las Vegas; a place that will educate, entertain and excite the citizens of our great community.  Located in downtown's 61-acre urban development, Symphony Park, The Smith Center broke ground in May of 2009 with a ceremonial carillon bell casting and ringing.  In February 2010, it celebrated its "Topping Out" with the raising of 50 tons of steel and is projected to open in March 2012. For more information about The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, please visit www.thesmithcenter.com.  Keep up with news and events on Facebook.

SOURCE The Smith Center