The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture just passed a major fundraising milestone in its quest to become independent of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation by raising a total of $1,026,344 by today's deadline. Three weeks ago, the school, which consists of Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Taliesin in Spring Green, Wis., had raised only half of its goal of $1 million. Recent pledges by the Taliesin Eight pushed the school to achieve its first deadline. The school now faces a second hurdle: raising an additional $973,656 by the end of the calendar year.
Among the Taliesin Eight, individuals who recently pledged $12,500 annually for five years, are architect Frank Gehry, FAIA; Frank Lloyd Wright's grandson Tim Wright and his wife, Karen Ellzey Wright; software entrepreneur Jason Fried; former Wright apprentice and architect Charlie and his wife Fonda Paterson; Frank Lloyd Wright School board chair Jacalyn Lynn; and longtime supporters of the school Bob and Gretchen Ravenscroft. In an email to the school and Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, the school's dean Aaron Betsky (who is also an ARCHITECT contributor) also mentioned that MGM Resorts International made a major contribution.
Last December, the school launched a campaign to raise $2 million by the end of 2015 to prove financial independence from the foundation, which currently runs it. This would allow the school to maintain its accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission, which is mandated by the National Architectural Accrediting Board, the agency that evaluates all U.S.-based M.Arch programs.
In his email, Betsky also noted that the school has "contacted quite a few potential donors" and is confident that it will meet the next fundraising goal in time for the school to maintain its accreditation.
Read the March 2015 Q+A with Aaron Betsky on the future of the school here.