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Associate Director of Development
UI College of Liberal Arts and Scienecs/UI Museum of Art
UI Foundation News
500 Levitt Center for University Advancement
Iowa City IA 52242
Phone: (319) 335-3305 or (800) 648-6973

Release: June 25, 2002

(Photos: top, architect's rendering of the new Art and Art History Building; bottom, Dey House)

NOTE TO EDITORS: Additional images of the new Art and Art History building and Dey House can be found at the following web URL:

Iowa-based foundation gives $500,000 to support UI arts programs

Students and faculty in two of the University of Iowa's most prestigious arts programs -- the School of Art and Art History and the Writers' Workshop -- are beneficiaries of a $500,000 gift to the UI Foundation from the Mansfield Charitable Foundation of Belle Plaine, Iowa.

With $400,000 of the gift, the School of Art and Art History will create the Mansfield Media Theatre in the school's new building, scheduled for completion by early 2005. The theater will be a versatile, interdisciplinary facility for use by student and faculty artists working in a variety of media, including performance, digital and intermedia arts.

The remaining $100,000 of the gift will help fund construction of a new addition to Dey House, home of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Dey House is scheduled to undergo renovation and expansion, with completion anticipated in 2004.

Linda Maxson, dean of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, which includes all UI academic arts programs, praised the Mansfield Charitable Foundation for its generosity.

"The School of Art and Art History and the Writers' Workshop are key elements of the UI's traditional emphasis on the arts, but both have long been in need of better facilities," Maxson said. "We are extremely grateful to the Mansfield Foundation for helping us better serve our students and advance the UI's reputation as a leader in the arts."

The Mansfield Charitable Foundation was established in 1984 by Wesley and Irene Mansfield of Belle Plaine, Iowa. The Mansfields owned movie theatres and other successful business ventures around the Midwest. Irene Mansfield died in 1987, and Wesley Mansfield died in 1988. Individually and through their charitable foundation, they have donated millions of dollars to a wide range of public-service initiatives, including earlier gifts to the UI for the UI Hospitals and Clinics' Center for Disabilities and Development (formerly the University Hospital School).

The gift from the Mansfield Foundation is part of the UI's $850 million comprehensive campaign, which will run through 2005 and is being conducted under the guidance of the UI Foundation. Named "Good. Better. Best. Iowa: The Campaign to Advance Our Great University," the seven-year effort is raising private funds to help launch a variety of initiatives across the university, substantially increase the number of UI scholarships and endowed faculty positions, support new educational and research facilities, build the UI's endowment, and fund outreach and service programs to benefit Iowans.

The UI Foundation is the preferred channel for private contributions to all areas of the university. For more information about the "Good. Better. Best. Iowa" campaign, visit its web site at