The Stony Brook Southampton Graduate Arts programs have been gifted $1 million by Southampton resident and Stony Brook Foundation Trustee Dorothy Lichtenstein. The gift was announced on July 17 during the annual Southampton Writers Conference opening night, which featured a conversation about writing with former PBS News Hour anchor and novelist Jim Lehrer and his wife, novelist Kate Lehrer.
Lichtenstein, President of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation, is a longtime supporter of Stony Brook Southampton Graduate Arts programs.
“The growth I’ve witnessed in the last decade has been nothing short of amazing,” said Lichtenstein, citing new graduate programs in theatre, publishing, visual arts, and digital filmmaking, a presence in Manhattan, and programs designed to train young writers and artists on the East End. “This gift reflects my confidence in [Stony Brook University] President [Samuel] Stanley’s leadership and the university’s commitment to excellence in the arts at Stony Brook Southampton. It also reflects my confidence in the extraordinary leadership of Robert Reeves, who has founded many of these programs and presided over their dramatic growth. The growth has not come at the expense of quality. These programs are among the best of their kind, which is why they have risen to national and international prominence. I am proud to support this important work.”
“We are truly gratified by Dorothy’s confidence in the Southampton Arts program and that she shares our vision for Stony Brook University’s potential for greatness in the creative arts,” said Stanley
According to a press release issued following the donation’s announcement, with the gift, Southampton Graduate Arts can move forward on several initiatives, including the David Rakoff Studio Theater, scholarships for students, and the launch of a digital filmmaking program.
Robert Reeves, Associate Provost for Southampton Graduate Arts, says the gift “comes at just the right time. It will allow us to take advantage of fresh opportunities that arise at this transformative moment in which we are witnessing the great democratization of the creative arts. The opportunity here is to continue to build programs that are not only excellent, but affordable, inclusive, and responsive to the arts as they exist and continue to evolve.”