2017 Taliesin West; Photo by Andrew Pielage © Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation
Taliesin West, 2017. Photo by Andrew Pielage
Taliesin West Drafting Studio at night, 2015. Photo by Andrew Pielage © Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation announced that it is the recipient of several grants to fund vital technology updates and digital access opportunities for the community. The grants will allow Taliesin West to continue its evolution from a traditional house museum to an engaging site infused with interactive, technology-enhanced experiences.
“We’re very excited that our new approach to sharing Wright’s legacy of beauty and sustainability is winning the support of our community,” said Stuart Graff, president and CEO of the Foundation. “Ongoing investment from foundations, corporate supporters and most critically our individual donors and members, will allow us to take this work to more schools and to offer more programs, to our visitors.”
In its first grant to the Foundation, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust awarded $307,100 to improve the Foundation’s core information technology operations. This work will make Taliesin West more accessible and address the significant challenges posed by running a large, internationally known nonprofit on a historic property. The funds will provide for the installation of a full mile of fiber-optic cable to the Taliesin West campus, ensuring reliable internet connectivity that gives the Foundation the ability to create web-based programming on- and off-campus.
“We look forward to being able to broadcast interactive STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) education programs to distant schools, as well as live and virtual tours for people with mobility challenges,” said DeDee Ludwig-Palit, director of education for the Foundation.
The grant will also fund new systems for volunteer engagement, allowing the Foundation to expand its work. Together, the improvements will allow the Foundation to serve thousands of additional users each year through expanded internet-reliant programming.
American Express donated $40,000 to fund two projects at Taliesin West, including informative new kiosks for the visitor entry court to enhance the guest experience. The kiosks will provide digital access to Wright’s archived drawings, manuscripts, talks, art, artifacts and areas of the property not currently accessible to the public. These funds will also support enhanced security at Taliesin West through relocation and restoration of the vehicle entry gates created by Wright’s apprentices.
In 2017, the Foundation was also the recipient of grants from The National Trust for Historic Preservation, The National Endowment for the Humanities, The Society of Architectural Historians, ON Semiconductor, Southwestern Foundation for Education and Historical Preservation, Scottsdale Arts, and the Rio Salado Architectural Foundation.
“Many of these grants come from new supporters who have not previously funded our work. It’s a great vote of confidence, and we hope that their support will encourage others to get behind our work,” said Graff.
The Foundation maintains two large National Historic Landmarks, Taliesin in Wisconsin and Taliesin West in Arizona, as well as the community outreach programs and preservation needs of both properties. Grants fund 20 percent of the Foundation’s annual budget.