Historic Arts Agreement Transfers $43 Million to GW

Funds will be used to operate Corcoran School and renovate 17th Street building.

September 10, 2014
As part of the finalized agreement among the George Washington University, the Corcoran and the National Gallery of Art, GW will receive approximately $43 million in funds. $35 million will go toward the renovation of the 17th Street building, which will remain classroom and studio space and serve as a global hub for the arts in Washington. $8 million in restricted endowment funds will be used for the operation of the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design within the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.
The historic collaboration received approval from the D.C. Superior Court in August following a three-week cy près review. The final transaction gave GW two Corcoran properties—the 17th Street and Fillmore buildings—and transferred cash, securities and endowed funds to the university.
The university plans to sell the Fillmore building, located in Georgetown, after this academic year. The agreement stipulates that proceeds from the Fillmore property must be distributed either between the Corcoran School’s operational costs or the 17th Street building’s renovations. The amount of such proceeds will depend on the terms of the property sale. 
In its updated form, the 17th Street building will be a hub for the arts at GW, and it will provide dynamic and expanded classroom and studio space for Corcoran School students. It will house a Legacy Gallery of important works from the Corcoran collection, selected by NGA, as well as special exhibitions of contemporary work.  The Corcoran School will also showcase the work of its students, faculty and visiting artists.
Provost Steven Lerman explained that the renovations will occur in phases over the next several years.
“We will take a phased approach, addressing the most critical structural needs first.  Fundraising is underway and will be key to supporting continued renovations and programming for the building,” he said. “This is an exciting opportunity for the university to not only preserve the historic legacy of the Corcoran but also enhance and build upon the innovative arts education we provide in the heart of our nation’s capital.”
The 17th Street building galleries now have free admission, Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m-5 p.m., as a result of the collaboration. Guests can visit the galleries through September 28, after which the galleries will close for renovations by the National Gallery of Art for approximately one year. The Corcoran School will remain open and operating throughout the renovation process.
Arts & Culture