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University Of Michigan Gets $8M To Support Arts

DETROIT (AP) - The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance on Tuesday received an $8 million donation from philanthropists William and Delores Brehm that will go toward a $23 million effort to renovate and expand the music and performance school's original campus home.

Construction on the Earl V. Moore Building is subject to the approval of the Ann Arbor school's Board of Regents, which is expected to take up the issue Nov. 15. Work on the North Campus project could begin in early 2014 and is expected to be completed in about two years.

"The Brehms are expanding the ... environment for creative work and creative approaches," University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman said in a statement.

Funding for the project includes $14 million from the university. The rest is to be paid for by additional fundraising, including a gift from Glenn E. Watkins, emeritus professor of musicology. A donation from Watkins will provide for a state-of-the-art lecture hall as part of the expansion.

Built in 1964, the Earl V. Moore Building was designed by Eero Saarinen. Under current plans, the renovation and expansion will create a new rehearsal hall designed to accommodate large instrumental ensembles, renovate the existing rehearsal hall and McIntosh Theatre, and increase practice rooms.

The Brehms have donated more than $60 million to support a range of projects and programs, including an eight-story addition to the Kellogg Eye Center and the founding of the Brehm Center for Diabetes Research & Analysis. William Brehm is a graduate of the University of Michigan. Delores Brehm is a 1952 graduate of Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti.

"The Brehms have a deep personal involvement in and appreciation for the performing arts, and with this gift they have become visionary champions for future generations of our music students," said Christopher Kendall, dean of the School of Music, Theatre & Dance and Paul Boylan Collegiate Professor of Music.

In recent years, the University of Michigan has opened the Walgreen Drama Center and Arthur Miller Theatre, expanded and renovated the on-campus University of Michigan Museum of Art and supported efforts to explore ways to integrate the arts into the work of research universities.

© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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