FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: November 29, 2018
From: Dunedin Fine Art Center
Contact: Ken Hannon @ 727.298.DFAC, x230
Prompted by $2 million Donation, DFAC Unveils Newly Renamed West Wing
Nancy and David Bilheimer have been involved with the Dunedin Fine Art Center (DFAC) for many years. Their investment in annual and capital campaigns, from 2005 to 2017, saw over $100,000 in support of the David L. Mason Children’s Art Museum and the newly enlarged Gallery Shop. Their unrestricted gift of $2 million is the single largest gift given to the art center with a wish to sustain and support future generations of art and art lovers. They say that their investment [in DFAC] now brings exponential returns, which they see growing with each event and exhibit.
The generosity of people involved with the Dunedin Fine Art Center is an ongoing testament to the strength of the organization and the trust of their donors. This is the third million dollar plus donation DFAC has received in the last 10 years. These single gifts, join others who have reached that milestone over years of support.
“I think this speaks strongly to the important role DFAC plays in the community,” stated London Bates, Chair of DFAC’s board of directors. “And also to the faith that the community places in the future of the organization,” she concluded.
“It’s always exciting to talk about major donations to an organization,” offered George Ann Bissett, DFAC’s President and CEO. “The same amount may mean different things to different organizations. For the Dunedin Fine Art Center, this gift of $2 million is transformative,” she concluded.
While half of the money was immediately placed in reserves and will generate much needed operating capital, portions of the gift will enable DFAC to immediately complete a new food-arts studio, install top-quality audio/visual systems, expand hands-on activities in the children’s museum, and more.
DFAC unveiled the new Nancy and David Bilheimer West Wing at a ceremony honoring the donors at 10 am on Thursday, November 29th, at their main campus located at 1143 Michigan Blvd. – Dunedin, FL 34698.
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The Dunedin Fine Art Center
For over 40 years, the Dunedin Fine Art Center (DFAC) has been offering exciting art opportunities in a most welcoming kind of way. Tampa Bay Times writer Lennie Bennett says that DFAC is “the artistic equivalent of a village square,” offering quality experiences to people of all ages. DFAC offers year-round exhibitions in seven galleries featuring national, regional and local artists. Classes for students 4 yrs. to 97 yrs. fill 21 studio classrooms and a changing yearly theme makes the David L. Mason Children’s Art Museum a hands-on experience not to be missed.
You can take some time to enjoy a delicious lunch or gourmet coffee in the Palm Café, or search out one-of-a-kind gifts in the Gallery Shop. Come out and PLAY at the Dunedin Fine Art Center and see why people say it’s where the ART is! M-F 10am-5pm, Sat. 10am-2pm, Sun. 1-4pm.
1143 Michigan Blvd
Dunedin, FL 34698
A VIBRANT LEGACY
One Couple Shows Their Support
At Dunedin Fine Art Center, every connection is valued. If one person gets inspired, it’s worth the effort made to produce each exhibit and class—that’s how Nancy and David Bilheimer feel.
The couple, who spends winters in New Jersey and have lived on Honeymoon Island for more than 20 years, recently supported DFAC with an impressive donation of $2 million in unrestricted funding.
“We like to contribute to Dunedin,” David said. “There’s so much going on in such a small, intimate space. That’s what we really like about this area.”
George Ann Bissett, President and CEO of DFAC, said the donation was “transformational” for the art center. “Their gift will go on for years,” she said. “It’s an example of just how much people believe in what the art center does. We are using these funds to make a better art center for our students, our members, our visitors, and our faculty.”
From this generous donation, $1 million was placed immediately into an endowment fund, a percentage of which will support DFAC’s educational programming. Other portions of the gift will enable DFAC to complete a new food-arts studio, install top-quality audio/visual systems, expand hands-on activities in the children’s museum, and more.
When David and Nancy saw the master plan for DFAC’s expansion, they were impressed by the vision and scope. Their investment now brings exponential returns, which they see growing with each event and exhibit.
“We went through college completely artfree,” Nancy laughs. “We know that if you don’t get kids into art at a young age, you’re not going to get them once they turn 13 or 14.”
Both of them studied science in college, majoring in engineering and physics. Through their nonprofit Munch Bilheimer Foundation, the couple also awards scientific and STEM scholarships for students and artists.
As they travel, Dunedin always stays near and dear to their hearts. The Bilheimers frequently send DFAC memberships to friends and family as gifts, encouraging more people to interact within the space.
David makes it a point to bring guests to the DFAC Garden Party, while Nancy enjoys practicing needlepoint and meeting creative people at Dunedin Art Harvest. “You can see the smile on their faces when they show you their art,” she said. “There’s a glow there you can only find in
a place like this.”
(from DFAC’s ARTiFACTS magazine, volume 3 number 1 – Fall 2018. story by Mitzi Gordon)