In Michigan
7:05 pm
Mon May 3, 2010

DeVos family gives Kennedy Center $22.5M for arts

WASHINGTON –

The Kennedy Center in Washington is announcing the largest private donation in its history - a $22.5 million gift from Dick and Betsy DeVos to endow its Arts Management Institute that trains the nation's arts leaders.

Betsy DeVos says arts organizations have been struggling in the recession and need expert leadership to survive. The gift announced Monday is among the largest ever for the Michigan couple.

Dick DeVos, an Amway Corp. heir and Republican, ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2006. DeVos spent more than $35 million to challenge Democratic incumbent Jennifer Granholm. His family also owns the NBA's Orlando Magic.

Former President George W. Bush appointed Betsy DeVos to the Kennedy Center's board. She is a former chairman of Michigan's GOP.