The world needs more substance.
What the world knows today as Watkins College of Art has its roots in the generosity and vision of one man: Samuel Watkins (1794-1880).
Orphaned at the age of four, Watkins was a self-made entrepreneur and philanthropist with no formal education. In his will, he left $100,000 and property in the center of Nashville for the establishment of a school that would teach the “business of life” to talented, but often overlooked, people who deserved a launchpad into success:
- Immigrants in the early 20th century…
- Women in the 1930s and 1940s…
- Servicemen after they returned from World War II.
In fact, during its history, Watkins has assisted, trained, and schooled 350,000 gifted, ambitious, and dedicated individuals.
Many institutions talk about transformational change. But what Watkins has done is not just life-changing; it has literally changed the lot of lives.
In 1977, it turned its focus to artists, who stand at the center of the creative economy, which study after study shows is the economy of the future. We need artists and their creative gifts more than ever. Not just for the jobs of the future, but for the well-being of the future.
Driven by questions, it is artists who apprehend the elusive, decipher the puzzle, answer the unanswerable. In seeking out questions and pursuing answers, creatives make our culture fearless. And the answers they provide improve and electrify our common cause.
Now is the time to push that work. Make it matter more. Keep Watkins ahead of the curve as Samuel Watkins would have wished: to intervene where we can do the most good and empower today the artists of tomorrow — all in the heart of Nashville, America’s most ascendant creative capital.
Watkins exists to provide pathways for artists to reveal their insights to the world at large. This is the project of a boundless civilization. And it is the promise of a Watkins education.
We need your help right now to raise the stakes on the promise of a Watkins education by recruiting the best and brightest artists through critical scholarships that will allow them to choose Watkins and make it the most prestigious arts conservatory in the nation.
Here are the three ways you can support the 1885 Scholarship Campaign:
1. Honor the 350,000 individuals who benefited from Samuel Watkins’s vision by helping us raise $350,000 in new scholarships. Trustee Laura Turner has committed at least $150,000 to provide computers or tablets to incoming students. This gift, paired with the $350,000 in scholarships, will be an attractive package to recruit the most promising students from across the country.
2. Support the 1885 Scholarship Campaign by making a gift under the following tiers. To give through our secure online system, click here.
3. Let us know about other champions of the arts and education whom you believe would be eager to participate in this effort.
Support the 1885 Campaign
To give through our secure online system, click here.Give Now