DETROIT, MI.- The Detroit Institute of Arts’
extensive program of art classes and educational activities has a brand new home thanks to a $2.6 million donation from Wayne and Joan Webber. The Wayne and Joan Webber Education Wing provides spaces for drop-in workshops, art-making classes, seminars and art display. The Webbers have earmarked $1 million of their gift to establish the Wayne and Joan Webber Education Endowment, to provide funding for future educational programs and activities.
Building on the success of the recently reinstalled permanent galleries, the Education Wing allows the DIA to expand its strategies for engaging visitors in making personal connections with the art.
“The Wayne and Joan Webber Education Wing provides an improved environment for quality art-making experiences and art education classes the DIA offers,” said Graham W. J. Beal, DIA director. “We are thrilled to have this wonderful new space, made possible through the Webbers’ generosity. Their gift will continue to serve the thousands of visitors who participate in the educational opportunities we offer to the public.”
The Wayne and Joan Webber Education Wing includes:
Two studios for art classes an workshops for all ages
Office space for studio instructors
The Walter Gibbs Gallery, which includes
The Walter Gibbs Gallery, a space of exhibiting art using innovative learning strategies
The Holly Room, a classroom for 50 people
A seminar room for 30 people
The Learning Center initially received funding from a bequest by Walter Gibbs, a retired Wayne County prosecutor who, through his volunteer work at the DIA, was inspired to fund the Walter Gibbs Learning Center and Walter Gibbs Endowment Fund.
In 2008, the Webbers became interested in the Learning Center, and provided additional significant financial support for the construction of the Education Wing. The Webbers also established their own endowment fund to support art education programs conducted in and through their Education Wing.