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Nonprofit Matters: National Cowgirl Museum undergoing renovations

National Cowgirl Museum undergoing renovations

The first major makeover of The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame since it opened in Fort Worth in 2002 recently started and a reopening is scheduled for this summer.

The remodel of the 33,000-square-foot, two-story museum will be done in two phases, starting with the first floor, which will include two new galleries and an interactive mobile in the Grand Rotunda. The second phase will involve the second floor, which will be transformed into an expansive gallery. It will close for renovation in early 2016 and is scheduled for completion in the fall.

The museum will remain open during construction.

Exhibits on the first floor will present the cowgirls who performed in the Wild West shows from the 1880s to the early 20th century. In the new Wild West Gallery visitors can see view archival footage projected on hanging glass screens; glass showcases with rare artifacts, including Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show parade flag; and interactive activities. Through hologram technology, Annie Oakley will share her story in her own words. Oakley’s wedding ring and gun also will be featured in the gallery.

A mobile in the Grand Rotunda will feature women in the Hall of Fame through still photographs and video footage.

The museum is working on the project with Projectiles, an architectural firm in Paris, France; Goppion, museum display case designers in Milan, Italy; and Electrosonic, an international audio-visual design and engineering company in Burbank, Calif.

Local contractors, Linbeck Group, Bennett Benner Partners and The Projects Group are also involved in the project along with local artist Janice Hart, who is creating a life-size statue of Oakley.

New dance school

at Fine Arts Academy

Texas Boys Choir Inc. is starting a dance conservatory at the Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts facility, 3901 S. Hulen St., in Fort Worth.

Texas Dance Conservatory will offer classes to dancers ages 3-19 beginning Aug. 31. Classes will include ballet, jazz, contemporary dance, pointe, young men’s dance and creative movement for ages 3-4.

Beginning in June, the conservatory will offer a summer master class series in which professional dancers and choreographers will provide instruction in their styles and share personal dance history.

Information, prices and registration is available on the conservatory’s website,

$45M Meadows gift

to SMU sets records

Southern Methodist University recently received a $45 million gift, the largest single donation in the school’s history, from the Meadows Foundation.

The gift, which is also the largest in the foundation’s history, includes $25 million to support the Meadows Museum and $20 million to the Meadows School of the Arts.

The Meadows Museum, celebrating its 50th anniversary, houses one of the largest collections of Spanish art outside of Spain. The gift designates $13 million for exhibitions, education programs and initiatives; $6 million for acquisitions; and $6 million for an acquisition challenge grant.

The Meadows School of the Arts will use $12 million in funding for facility enhancements, including a $10 million challenge grant, and $8 million for student and faculty recruitment and retention as well as new strategic initiatives.

The Meadows Foundation gift counts toward the $1 billion goal of SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign. To date, the campaign has raised more than $942 million in gifts and pledges. The campaign coincides with SMU’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of the university’s founding in 1911 and its opening in 1915.

EECU joins Prime Partner,

awards 6 scholarships

Fort Worth-based EECU has become a member of the Texas Access to Justice Foundation’s Prime Partner Bank program, which provides funding for the Texas legal aid system.

Prime Partner banks and credit unions voluntarily pay higher interest rates on Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA). The foundation receives funding from IOLTA accounts and uses this money for grants to legal aid providers who help more than 100,000 Texas families each year.

EECU, with 13 locations in the Fort Worth area and more than 180,000 members, is now one of nearly 60 banks that participate in the Prime Partner program throughout Texas.

Also, during its annual shareholders meeting in March, EECU awarded $30,000 in scholarships to area students. The credit union awards six $5,000 scholarships each year.

This year’s winners of the Glenn Mandeville Memorial Scholarship and their intended courses of study are: Emily Morgan Hailey, Fort Worth Christian School, nursing; Kiana Headland, Alvarado High School, international business affairs; Ifeoluwa Obayan, Mansfield Timberview High School, biomedical engineering; Sydney Peel, Colleyville Heritage High School, education and art; Deanna Pierce, Richland High School, education; and Christian Turnley, Keller High School, music education.

Ronald’s Roadhouse concert

to debut as local fundraiser

Jerry Jeff Walker will headline Fort Worth’s newest concert event, Ronald’s Roadhouse, on April 30 as a fundraiser for Ronald McDonald House of Fort Worth.

The event also will feature Sonny Burgess and Jolie Holliday, and food and beverages from local restaurants, breweries and wineries.

The evening starts at 6 p.m. at Encore Live, 1635 Rogers Road, Fort Worth. Tickets are $100. For information visit or

Two major gifts to advance

local cancer research

The Tarrant County American Cancer Society will be able to advance its local research efforts thanks to two recent $100,000 gifts, one from Steve and Debbie Bryant’s Bryant Golden Rule Fund of the Community Foundation of North Texas and the other from the Kathleen Connors Trust, PlainsCapital Bank, Trustee.

The gifts advance the work of cancer researchers whose proposals were approved by the American Cancer Society’s peer review panel but then placed on a funding waiting list.

Send nonprofit news to Betty Dillard at

Fact Box

Nonprofits project

job growth in 2015

In its eighth annual national Nonprofit Employment Practices Survey, Nonprofit HR indicates the nonprofit sector is projecting a job growth rate that could outpace the corporate sector. According to the survey, which included responses from 413 nonprofits nationwide, 49 percent of nonprofits increased their staff in 2014. Key findings of the survey include:

50 percent of nonprofits anticipate hiring at least one new employee in 2015.

The nonprofit sector is the third largest sector in the United States in terms of people employed, behind retail and manufacturing. Nonprofits employ 10.7 million people.

2014 revenues generated by the nonprofit sector totaled more than $1.9 trillion.

52 percent of nonprofits do not have a formal recruitment strategy and 67 percent do not have a formal recruitment budget.

27 percent of nonprofits cite an inability to pay competitively as their greatest retention challenge, followed by inability to promote (20 percent).

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