The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center has received its most generous gift since 2007, according to an announcement released this afternoon. Catharine and Bart Holaday have donated a cool $1 million to the museum for an “Interactive Discovery Gallery,” slated for completion in about a year.
So, what exactly is an Interactive Discovery Gallery? you may reasonably be wondering. FAC President and CEO David Dahlin excitedly obliges us.
“The basic idea is finding ways to engage people beyond just visually,” he says. “So when people go to the museum, they’re standing there looking at art. But is there something they can do?”
Gallery One at the Cleveland Art Museum is a good example of what he’s talking about. There, museum-goers can learn art history from interactive tablets as they wander the exhibits, challenge themselves to mimic the pose of a statue (and email the resulting awkward photo to friends), or try their hand at a number of abstract expressionist techniques like pouring, dripping and splattering paint on a canvas of their own.
Creative design of the forthcoming FAC gallery is still in its infancy, so nothing is set in stone. “We’ve never really done a project like this, so we don’t know exactly what it’s going to be,” Dahlin says. “It’ll be such a fun exploration.”
The Holadays share Dahlin's giddiness.
“The opportunity to transform the museum experience for the Colorado Springs community is a really exciting one,” Cathy Holaday says in the FAC’s announcement. “We’re thrilled to embark upon this journey.”
Her husband, Bart, agrees: “Cathy is really passionate about the Fine Arts Center, and we want to be part of ensuring it has a long and successful future. It’s important to us that we invest in progressive, unique ways to enrich the cultural offerings and identity of Colorado Springs.”