There are a variety of giving opportunities at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film: Annual Fund, Capital Campaign, Major Gifts, Planned Gifts, Named Gifts and Memorials. These opportunities are described in detail below. To make an online donation by credit card, please use the online donation form. Or, to make a donation by check, print a copy of the form and mail it to the address listed above the form.

For more information on any type of giving, please contact:

Hilrie Brown
Vice President for Institutional Advancement
Phone: 615-277-7401
Fax: 615-383-4849
Email: hbrown@watkins.edu

Caroline Davis
Director of External Relations and Assistant Director of Development
Phone: 615-277-7403
Fax: 615-383-4849
Email: cdavis@watkins.edu


Watkins College of Art, Design & Film has been designated as a major cultural institution by local and state arts agencies and receives funding from the the Metro Nashville Arts Commission (MNAC)the Tennessee Arts Commission (TAC), and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).


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Support the arts through a purchase of one of three Tennessee specialty license plates, offered through the Tennessee Arts Commission.  Click for more info.


Annual Fund

The impact of the Annual Fund is felt in every area of the College, with these gifts supporting annual operations. The dollars raised provide for a variety of needs including classroom equipment, studio equipment, faculty and student community outreach initiatives, library acquisitions and exhibitions.

Annual Fund Giving Levels & Benefits:

Friend ($100–$249)
Benefactor ($250–$499)
Patron ($500–$999)
Samuel Watkins Society ($1,000–$2,499)
President’s Circle ($2,500–$4,999)
Trustees’ Circle ($5,000–$9,999)
Commissioners’ Society ($10,000 and above)

The Annual Fund drive ends each June 30; however, gifts and pledges are received year-round.

Major Gifts

Capital Campaign Gifts, Named Gifts and Memorials

Major Gifts secure the future of the College by providing funds to build buildings, create new spaces, establish programs, provide scholarships, and allow the planning and completion of a variety of other long-term activities. Major Gifts – unrestricted or donor designated, named or anonymous – will shape the future of the College for centuries to come.

Planned Giving

You may include the College in your will for a specific amount, a percentage of your estate, or a remainder gift after bequests to other interests have been paid. This may be done by simply adding a codicil to your existing will. A bequest provides an estate tax deduction for the donor. The staff in the Office of Institutional Advancement at Watkins can assist you in documenting your intention to strengthen Watkins College of Art, Design & Film with a gift from your estate.

Life Insurance
This option allows you to make a substantial gift to Watkins College of Art, Design & Film. When you make Watkins the owner and beneficiary of a new policy, your premium payments are fully deductible, and the policy’s value is not part of your taxable estate. With an existing policy, you are entitled to an immediate income tax benefit. Or, you can name Watkins as the policy beneficiary for a federal estate deduction for the entire amount at your death.

Charitable Trust
A variety of Charitable Trusts allow income-tax deductions and add to your current income for yourself and/or a beneficiary, while also giving you the satisfaction of making a substantial gift to Watkins. Trust may provide fixed payouts, or variable annual payments to the donor. A trust may be funded with cash, appreciated securities, or real estate.

Real Estate Gifts with Retained Life Interest
With a gift of property, you can continue to live at a personal residence and avoid future capital-gain tax on the property’s appreciation when you make the property a gift to Watkins College of Art, Design & Film.

Gifts Of Securities

These gifts offer the same benefits as an outright gift of cash, but can offer added tax benefits to the donor. For information on transferring gifts of securities, please contact one of the Office of Institutional Advancement officers listed below.

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Join us on Saturday, April 25 at OZ Arts Nashville

Cocktails • Dinner •  Silent Auction • Live Auction
featuring domestic and international trips to fabulous art-scene destinations

2015  Co-chairs: Cathy Holland and Kandace Wigington


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Watkins College of Art, Design & Film will host The pARTy, the school’s annual fundraising event, on Saturday, April 25, with the 2015 edition returning to the striking contemporary art space OZ Arts Nashville.

pARTy chairs Kandace Wigington and Cathy Holland, Metro Nashville Airport Authority’s Rob Wigington and Watkins President Ellen Meyer

The pARTy, which celebrates the creative in Watkins students and the Nashville community, includes a 6 p.m. cocktail reception, dinner from The Chef and I, and a silent auction as well as a live auction segment featuring travel packages to  Italy, Santa Fe, and New York. Reflecting the art and design theme, The Chef and I’s gourmet menu will include a chARTcuterie display and an elaborate dessert station with truffles and tARTs.

Teri Reid

Teri Reid

Acclaimed pianist/vocalist/bandleader Teri Reid — renowned for her vast and eclectic range of material — will provide music for The pARTY, thanks to sponsorship by Arts at the Airport.

The pARTy benefits the education and outreach programs of the independent, nonprofit, four-year baccalaureate college, now in its 130th year of service and inspiration to the community. Part of an elite consortium of 41 art and design colleges across the country and Canada, Watkins is a regionally and nationally accredited college of the visual arts, granting BFA degrees in film, fine art, graphic design, interior design and photography, a BA in art, and certificates in film and in interior design. Watkins also offers affordable classes, workshops and camps for youth and adults through its Community Education department.

Tickets to The pARTy are $250 per person, and invitations will be mailed in early March. To learn more or request an invitation, visit this page or WatkinsTheParty.com or contact Michelle Klaes,  615.277.7402.

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Support and sponsorship from these businesses and individuals are truly the “Life of the pARTy!”

Gold Program pARTner:

SunTrust Foundation

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Silver sponsors:

AmSurg, HCA/TriStar Health and KPMG LLC 

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Bronze sponsors:

Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority/Arts at the Airport; Nashville Carpet Center/Hunt Oliver; Neal & Harwell, PLC; McCarthy, Jones & Woodward; OZ Arts Nashville and StudioEightDesign








Pewter sponsor:

Beth Scott Clayton Amos, LUTCF, CLTC, Insurance & Financial Services

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Wine, spirits and beer courtesy of Lipman Brothers, LLC and R.S. Lipman Company

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Oz_LogoFinal_6.30.14 smallOZ Arts Nashville is located at 6172 Cockrill Bend Circle, near the John C. Tune Airport (OZNashville.com). The venue, boasting a grand salon, patio lounge, several gallery and garden spaces, and one of the world’s largest walk-in cigar humidors, has established itself as a magnet for world-class talents through its innovative visual and performing arts programming.