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Representatives from CFA and Open Road present a check to Abilene Heritage Square leaders
(February 8, 2024) — Abilene Heritage Square is revitalizing an eight-acre tract that includes the former Abilene High School and Lincoln Middle School buildings. The capital project continues to raise private and public funds and recently received a $50,000 grant, thanks to proceeds from the Open Road concert series.
“The concerts’ success has given the Future Fund an opportunity to give back to the community financially,” said Sam Vinson.
Open Road co-founders Taylor Sturgis and Sam Vinson developed plans for the concert series to boost Future Fund, a membership-supported endowment fund at the Community Foundation of Abilene that makes grants to nonprofits serving children and youth.
“As more people join Future Fund, the endowment fund grows from those membership dues,” said Taylor Sturgis. “Today, we see the impact of Future Fund continue with this grant to Abilene Heritage Square.”
Abilene Heritage Square will include a state-of-the-art 65,000 square-foot public library, exhibition space for local and traveling exhibits, technology-equipped meeting rooms of various sizes, special event space for private and public use, a restored historic auditorium, and a coffee shop. The complex will also include classroom space for the Stone Owl Institute, an extracurricular course of study that educates high school juniors and seniors in the principles of civic service and free-market economics.
Plans include a portion of the complex that will serve as The Grace Museum’s “Spark Innovation.” Laura Moore, The Grace Museum Executive Director, says, “From the walls to the hallways, the whole facility will be geared to foster excitement, promote curiosity, grow problem-solving skills, and broaden understanding in the world of science.”
This new children’s museum will be dedicated to exploring science, technology, engineering, and math and will feature an outdoor discovery area.
The concert series, founded in 2017, has awarded grants to nonprofits serving children and youth. In 2022, Open Road awarded a grant to Hendrick Medical Center Foundation to purchase cameras that would allow parents to see their newborns while the babies are in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). With the grant, Hendrick Health placed 13 cameras at the hospital’s north campus and four more at their south campus.