Owen Arts Center renovation announced, Gene and Jerry Jones to give $5 million

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An artist's rendering of the new Meadows School of the Arts Photo credit: Meadows School of the Arts

Gene and Jerry Jones will be contributing $5 million toward the renovation of the Owen Arts Center, the couple announced Aug. 7.

The funds will transform the east entrance, to be renamed the Gene and Jerry Jones Grand Atrium and Plaza.

The commitment will be matched by a $5 million grant from The Meadows Foundation, Inc., given in 2015.

The gift coincides with the announcement of a $30 million initiative to renovate all four floors on the north side of the building, which houses the Meadows School of the Arts.

“We are proud to invest in nurturing young artists and connecting them with the broader community, both of which the Meadows School successfully achieves,” Gene Jones said in a release.

Gene Jones is known for her civic and philanthropic work in the Dallas area. She spearheaded the creation of the Dallas Cowboys Art Collection at AT&T Stadium and The Star.

She also currently serves on the Meadows executive board and the John Goodwin Tower Center board of directors, and is a former member of the SMU Board of Trustees. Her husband Jerry Jones is known as owner, president and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys.

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Photo credit: Meadows School of the Arts

The 4,300-square-foot atrium will inclose the current eastside outdoor courtyard and expand the Bob Hope Theatre lobby.

“Renovation of the Owen Arts Center will transform the environment in which our students and faculty study and create visual art,” said Meadows Dean Samuel S. Holland in the release.

“Our aim is to create spaces that will inspire and foster creativity, attract current and future generations of artists, and solidify the Meadows School’s place among the city’s top five arts and cultural institutions.”

In 2015, the Meadows Foundation gave a $10 million matching grant to the Meadows School as part of a historic $45 million grant to SMU. At this time, it is unclear where the other $5 million will be used.

The foundation hopes that the large grant will be able to create an incentive for other donors for the project.

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