A Passion for the Arts

The Thomas McAleer Fund
Mon, 07/04/2016 - 1:00pm

This summer the Thomas McAleer Visual Arts Endowed Scholarship will be raising awareness and support for its cause. The scholarship will establish a partnership between The Block Island School and the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).
The scholarship was inspired by and named for Thomas McAleer. Before he passed away in 2014, McAleer was a committed, disciplined painter. He worked outdoors taking his inspiration from nature and his surroundings. His work reflected his enthusiasm and high energy with bold, colorful prints.
In an effort to pass on McAleer's passion for the arts, family and friends have teamed together to work in establishing an endowed scholarship fund. “Though he is gone he continues to inspires creativity with the legacy he left behind,” said Susan Black, one of the endowment organizers of Mac & Friends group behind the project.
Once the endowment is established, it will allow for a partnership between Block Island School and RISD granting students and alumni ages 14-25 access to enrollment in courses in RISD’s Continuing Education Department. This department offers over 500 courses in 24 disciplines catering to almost all artistic interests. Students would be given opportunities to learn and explore the arts at and through RISD on weekends and during school breaks.
To fund the program an initial $100,000 is required. For a given year to support the program that amount must be raised (or maintained) by December 15 with distribution of the award to students as of July 1. Students will apply for a position in the program during the spring of the same year. RISD will manage and administer the fund as a part of its pooled larger endowment.
The scholarship fund has raised approximately $73,000 since its inception in January 2015. This summer the scholarship is looking to close the remaining gap and launch the program that will then sustain itself into the future. Since it is an endowment, contributions not only aid this year’s program, but also support the ongoing yearly scholarship.
One effort this summer that aims to raise funds is a raffle for a Dale Chihuhly painting. He was a friend to McALeer and previously taught at RISD. His work shows his own creativity with color and technique, but echoes McAleer’s intention.
The painting is currently on display at Washington Trust Bank and raffle tickets can be purchased at Lila Delman Real Estate and Offshore Property. Tickets are one for $50; three for $125; or 15 for $500. All proceeds go directly to the fundraiser.
Additional contributions can be made at biartfund.weebly.com/donate.html. To learn more about the painting, arts program or the McALeer story visit: biartfund.weebly.com or contact RISD.McALeer.fund@gmail.com.
            Mark your calendars; The Mac & Friends group will be hosting a fundraising Luau at BIMI on August 12 from 6-9 p.m. The following evening, on August 13, the raffle winner will be selected at an Art Auction Gala from 5-7:15 p.m. also being held at BIMI.