Challenge Accepted for the Arts


President Miller announced that Virginia Wesleyan University has received a $250,000 challenge grant from the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation for updates and the purchase of new Steinway pianos for VWU’s existing Fine Arts Building. The University will have one year to raise the matching funds for the grant, which will allow for updated and modernized finishes, new windows, upgraded HVAC systems, and improved lighting. Updating the existing Fine Arts Building is a top priority identified in the University's 10-year Campus Master Plan. The Susan S. Goode Fine and Performing Arts Center (scheduled for completion in March 2019) will provide a state-of-the-art performance space for  theater, choral and music programs, and the existing Fine Arts Building will continue to serve as home to painting, ceramics, photography, and sculpture studios, as well as practice and rehearsal space for choral and instrumental programs.

“We aspire to eventually achieve “All-Steinway Status” as an institution,” said President Miller. “With the upgrades made possible by this grant, the Fine Arts Building will have the appropriate climate controls required for Steinway pianos. It is our goal to then replace the building’s existing pianos with new Steinway and Boston (Steinway-designed) pianos.”

 An American company founded in 1863, Steinway is considered the world’s finest piano manufacturer. “All-Steinway Status” represents commitment to high-quality music making by ensuring that 90 percent of the pianos are Steinway or Steinway-designed pianos, and that pianos in all performance and studio spaces are Steinway concert pianos. Presently, only six higher education institutions in Virginia, and 175 nationally, have achieved this designation. 

To help the University match this challenge from the Mary Morton Parsons Foundation, please contact Virginia Wesleyan’s Center for Advancement at 757.455.3217.