The University of Texas at Austin has announced a $5 million gift from the estate of alumnus Richard E. Rainwater to establish and endow a fund for the study of American music at its Butler School of Music.
The Richard E. Rainwater Fund for American Music will support the teaching, scholarship, and performance of American music, from roots and jazz to film music and the concert hall. To that end, the endowment will provide approximately $250,000 annually to expand the scholarly activities of the Center for American Music, support travel and program assistance for ensembles whose repertory is drawn primarily from the Americas, and bring the most inventive and diverse American composers to campus. The fund also will provide Rainwater Innovation grants to undergraduate and graduate students for initiatives aimed at challenging the usual way of doing things and reaching underserved audiences.
A Fort Worth financial investor and fund advisor, Rainwater graduated from UT Austin in 1966 with a bachelor's degree in mathematics. He died in September 2015.
"Music is an enormous part of what makes us uniquely American," said College of Fine Arts dean Doug Dempster. "This generous gift allows us to offer even more opportunities to students in our college who study and perform American music. It will expose them to world-class visiting artists and allow them to perform and interact with fellow musicians and scholars around the world."