Art scholarships, programs included in $3 million gift from UW-La Crosse professor’s will
Many area artists now, and in the future, could receive financial support through a $3 million gift from a La Crosse man’s will.
The bequest from the estate of UW-La Crosse English professor Ron Burman is being divided up among four different groups to provide art scholarships and grants.
The gift was announced Tuesday at Gallery 1802, near the university campus. Gallery owner Mark Halter said Burman’s donation could help make the Coulee Region an artists’ colony.
“There’s probably a thousand artists in northeast Minneapolis right now,” Halter said, “but you go up to visit them, and it’s the traffic and the potholes and the congestion.”
Halter believes getting the chance at funding might attract big-city artists to the La Crosse area.
Burman’s bequest honors his late wife Valerie Burman, who was an art instructor at UW-L, Western Tech and the University of Minnesota.
The La Crosse Community Foundation announced the donation, which will help fund a new organization called the Coulee Region Alliance for the Visual Arts, supported by Burman, who was 88 when he died in January.
Foundation CEO Jamie Schloeger said one group of scholarships for high school students sets aside money for “a student pursuing a double major, who is interested in a career both in art and something more practical that’ll actually pay the bills, like education or business or engineering.”
Halter said only about two percent of artists can make a living from producing art.