Lawrence Arts Center receives $100,000 grant

The Lawrence Arts Center received a $100,000 grant last week from the Ethel and Raymond F. Rice Foundation in support of children’s programming in visual and performing arts.

Susan Tate, executive director of the Arts Center, said the grant was a terrific surprise. This isn’t the first time the center has received funds from the Rice Foundation, she said, but it has never received a donation as substantial.

“The foundation has supported us in children’s programming in the past, but this is a major gift, and we are very honored to receive it,” Tate said.

The recent donation will help support the dance and theater department, preschool education curriculum, STEAM-based programming (exploring the connections between science, technology, engineering, arts, and math), visiting teaching artists and scholarships to keep classes affordable for families, Tate said.

Raymond Rice moved to Lawrence in 1907 to attend law school at Kansas University, established his own practice in town and taught at the law school for 13 years. Founder of Douglas County Bank, Rice also preserved part of the Baldwin Woods by purchasing the land for preservation in its native state and secured the site for the Douglas County Historical Society.

Rice formed the foundation after his wife, Ethel, died in 1972 to continue his philanthropic contributions to the Douglas County community beyond his lifetime.