Logan family’s $35 million gift puts name on arts center, art center on campus mapBy Josh Schonwald
Last Thursday, May 3, the University announced it has received a $35 million cash gift from David and Reva Logan, and their sons and grandchildren, to support the University’s Center for the Creative and Performing Arts. David Logan, a graduate of the College and the University Law School, is a longtime supporter of the arts.
President Zimmer sent an e-mail message to inform members of the University community about the good news. “The gift by the Logans will have a transformative effect on the arts at the University. The Reva and David Logan Center for Creative and Performing Arts, which is slated for opening in 2011, at an estimated cost of $100 million, will be a venue for the artistic expression and multidisciplinary inquiry, performance and production of our faculty and students,” wrote Zimmer in his May 3 note.
The gift is one of the largest single donor gifts to the University in its history. It is also believed to be the single largest cash gift to the arts in the city of Chicago.
The Reva and David Logan Center for Creative and Performing Arts will be located on the southern end of the University campus, at 60th Street and Ingleside Avenue; it will become a center for all areas of artistic expression, including visual arts, theater and performance, music and film.
“This is a historic gift that will have a tremendous impact not only on our students, faculty and community, but on the future of the arts in Chicago,” said Zimmer. “Creativity has always been a hallmark of the University and an essential stimulus of the world-changing ideas that have taken root here. The opening of the Reva and David Logan Center for Creative and Performing Arts will give the University an unprecedented opportunity to pioneer new ideas and art forms by bringing diverse artistic disciplines and perspectives together in dynamic collaboration under one roof, and establishing a site where intellectual inquiry and creative practice meet. We look forward eagerly to welcoming our neighbors on the South Side to share this exciting space with us, and to expanding the ranks of first-rate cultural institutions in Chicago.”
David Logan is a 1939 graduate of the College and a 1941 graduate of the Law School. Reva Logan also attended the College and is a former teacher. The Logans have a wide range of philanthropic interests—they have given generously to support education, health, social change and poverty reduction—but the lifelong Chicago residents have had a particular passion for the arts.
“The Logan family sees the center not as a building project,” said David Logan, “but as a way to improve the quality of life for students and faculty of the University, as well as the community.” Logan served on the Illinois Arts Council for 29 years and chaired the Council’s Arts in Education panel during its first several years.
An internationally renowned collector of photography and artist-illustrated books, David Logan has received the Governor’s (Illinois) Special Recognition Award for Distinguished Service in the Arts and Education. In previous years, the Logans have provided generous grants in support of numerous arts projects, including New Writing in Photography, the Chicago Arts Partnership for Education, Ken Burns’ Jazz, and Duke University’s Jazz Loft Project.
The couple also has funded the Reva and David Logan Collection of Illustrated Books at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco and has endowed a faculty position in investigative journalism at the University of California Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. David Logan also has been a leader in Chicago’s alumni community.
During a kick-off reception in Ida Noyes Hall for the University’s Chicago Convenes event Friday, May 4, David and Reva Logan’s son, Dan, spoke about the gift on behalf of his family.
“The arts tell us who we are, they get us to think, inspire us,” he said. “My parents have always believed in the arts and believed that they should be accessible to everyone. We believe that the arts can change lives.
“Like most families, we have trouble agreeing. But all of the members of my family agreed on this decision. This is the right place—my parent’s city, their alma mater—and the right time. We believe this university under President Zimmer’s leadership will advance its vision for the arts. We’re proud to be a catalyst for the arts center, and we hope you will join us in supporting it.”
One of the art center’s long-time champions Danielle Allen, Dean of the Division of the Humanities, said, “Universities, at their best, are places of invention that change peoples’ lives. David Logan understands that and has responded with magnanimity. His gift is an act of vision. Throughout the 20th century, the arts have inspired daring creativity at Chicago; with this remarkable gift the University’s distinctive dynamism and creative power are secured for future generations.”
John Boyer, Dean of the College, said that the Logan gift will, at last, provide the University with an arts center truly worthy of its students and faculty. “As an alumnus of the College and the Law School,” Boyer said, “David understands the profound importance of the creative and performing arts to students in the College and in the professional schools and graduate divisions as well. The Logan Center will be a democratic building, a building of beauty and dignity, and a building that conveys by its openness and quiet authority that it is a perfect symbol of a great educational institution in a great metropolis.”
An architect for the Reva and David Logan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts will be selected later this month. For more information on the arts at the University, please visit http://arts.uchicago.edu.