Portrait of a Patron: Jane McGehee Wilson

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Beaux Arts Ball, Events

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Jane McGehee Wilson, circa 1973

For more than 50 years, the Arkansas Arts Center has contributed to the cultural fabric of Arkansas, creating a legacy worthy of recognition. POP! honors those who have made it all possible. This year, the Arts Center community will toast Jane McGehee Wilson, Townsend Wolfe and the Fine Arts Club of Arkansas in red-carpet style, followed by music and dancing, drinks and light hors d’oeuvres. All proceeds benefit the Arts Center’s education and outreach programs.

Dating from the 1960s, Arkansas Arts Center’s Beaux Arts Ball was reimagined in 2014 to honor those who have played an integral role in the Arts Center’s past and continued success. The 2018 POP! Portrait of a Patron Awards will honor Jane McGehee Wilson for her service, the Fine Arts Club of Arkansas for its philanthropy, and Townsend Wolfe for his lifetime of service.

Jane Thomas McGehee Wilson has worked tirelessly on behalf of the Arkansas Arts Center for more than 50 years, and recognition of her contributions is long overdue.

Her involvement began when the Arts Center was still the Community Center of Arts and Sciences, and she served on both the Arkansas Arts Center Board of Trustees and the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Board, for a total of 25 combined years. But Wilson’s true legacy is her fearless and relentless pursuit of a stable financial future for the institution. In a 1972 letter to then-president of the Arkansas Arts Center Board of Trustees, she wrote: “The almost sole function of the Board of an institution like the Arkansas Arts Center can only be ‘fund raising.’” It was a task she undertook fiercely. That same year, determined to establish an endowment for the Arts Center, she convinced her father to make a challenge gift that hinged on the successful creation of an endowment. That foundation endowment today is essential to the ongoing operations of the Arts Center and the care and growth of the Arts Center’s collection.

With this award, the Arkansas Arts Center recognizes Wilson’s tenacity in service to the organization and her dogged pursuit of a secure financial future.

POP! Beaux Arts Ball Gold Sponsor is The Stella Boyle Smith Trust. Red Carpet Sponsors are CDI Contractors; Stuart Cobb; Mr. and Mrs. Merritt P. Dyke; Entergy Arkansas, Inc.; Bill and Kay Patton; Mrs. Lisenne Rockefeller. Legacy Sponsors are Bank of America; Bank of the Ozarks; Jack and Nan Ellen East; Barbara Rogers Hoover; Cindy and Chip Murphy; Belinda Shults; VCC, LLC. Host Sponsors are AAC Contemporaries; Carolynn Conway Coleman; Dillon Homes & Real Estate; Maribeth and John Frazer; June Freeman; HoganTaylor LLP; Brenda Mize; Nabholz; Tabatha and Brodes Perry; Jane McGehee Wilson and Brooks Wolfe; Pat Wilson. Little Rock Soiree/Arkansas Business Publishing Group is the media sponsor. Moon Distributors is the beverage sponsor. Tipton Hurst is the floral sponsor. Hank’s Event Rentals is the furniture sponsor.

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