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Marcus Foundation Donates $1.1-Million for Public Art Along Waller Creek

At the Opening Preview of Orly Genger’s Hurlyburly (2016), Melba Whatley, Chair of the Edward and Betty Marcus Foundation, announced a $1.1-million gift to The Contemporary Austin for future art programming along Waller Creek, to be implemented through the new collaboration between The Contemporary Austin and the Waller Creek Conservancy. Peter Mullan, Waller Creek Conservancy CEO, and Louis Grachos, Ernest and Sarah Butler Executive Director of The Contemporary Austin, accepted the gift on behalf of both organizations.

“My fellow trustees and I believe the Waller Creek Conservancy and The Contemporary Austin represent the best of Austin,” said Whatley. “Their dedication to excellence in all aspects of their missions make it easy to support their work, especially when they collaborate to bring exemplary public art to the City, as is evident with the Orly Genger sculpture.”

The Edward and Betty Marcus Foundation has provided more than 125 grants to various art-focused foundations and initiatives throughout Texas. In 2013, with a gift from the Marcus Foundation The Contemporary Austin created the Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park at Laguna Gloria. With this new gift, the Marcus Foundation has created similar foundational support for public art in downtown Austin. The Marcus Foundation gift will support future, collaborative art initiatives led by The Contemporary Austin and the Waller Creek Conservancy, to be realized along the 1.5-mile stretch of Waller Creek, currently undergoing revitalization.

Both the Marcus Foundation gift and the new collaboration between the Waller Creek Conservancy and The Contemporary Austin were announced today in a press conference with local elected officials and representatives from the Board of Directors of both organizations.

“We are so grateful to the Marcus Foundation for this extraordinary donation set to strengthen art in the public realm in Austin,” said Peter Mullan, Waller Creek Conservancy CEO. “The community will experience outdoor art programming unlike anything seen before. We look forward to creating engaging and inspiring experiences along Waller Creek in partnership with The Contemporary Austin.”

The Marcus Foundation gift is poised to further The Contemporary Austin’s mission of creating a ‘museum without walls’ and developing a robust art experience along Waller Creek.

“With the gift supporting our partnership with the Waller Creek Conservancy, the Marcus Foundation has once again proven great foresight in recognizing the incredible role that significant works of public art can play for a city like Austin,” said Louis Grachos, Ernest and Sarah Butler Executive Director of The Contemporary Austin. “On behalf of the city and all of the individuals who will enjoy and draw inspiration from future art installations along Waller Creek, I thank Melba Whatley and the entire board of the Marcus Foundation for making this transformational gift to the city.”

Hurlyburly will be on view through February 2017.