To be named after the Galveston-based foundation in recognition of the grant, the 50,000-square-foot building will provide space for arts education, performances, and gallery exhibitions curated by Rice faculty as well as jointly with museums in the greater Houston area. "The Moody Center will foster creativity in arts much like Rice's Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen enables creativity in engineering," said Caroline Levander, the university's vice provost for interdisciplinary initiatives, who will oversee the center along with an endowed faculty director. "The center will provide space for arts creation and collaboration that we don't have on campus and complement our existing facilities devoted to the arts."
The building, which Rice officials hope will advance their efforts to recruit highly talented faculty and students in the visual and performing arts, is scheduled to open in 2015, depending on the university's ability to raise the remaining funds and gain approval from its board.
"The arts at Rice have been significantly enhanced over the past decade, and the Moody Center for the Arts will enable Rice University to take an important step to provide suitable space...[for collaboration] across [arts] disciplines," said Rice University president David Leebron. "Importantly, this building will enable Rice to enrich its relationships with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Menil Collection, and the city's other exceptional art institutions, and be a great resource for the city as well as the campus. We are forever grateful to the Moody Foundation for its generous support of the arts at Rice and in Houston."