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State of the Arts

Three students sit chatting in the recently opened Margo Leavin Graduate Art Studios
A UCLA alumna’s $20 million gift enables the renovation of the Margo Leavin Graduate Art Studios, which opened for the Fall 2019 quarter.

In 2016 Margo Leavin ’58 gave $20 million to renovate UCLA’s graduate art studios in Culver City. Three years later, her philanthropy has come to fruition: The Margo Leavin Graduate Art Studios opened for the fall quarter, embodying UCLA’s commitment to nurturing emerging artists and the vibrant artistic community thriving in Los Angeles.

Supporting the Future of the Arts

“I’m grateful that my career in the Los Angeles art world has afforded me the opportunity to support those at the very heart of this community: artists,” says Leavin, whose gift remains the largest from an alumna to the arts in the UC system. “The students, alumni, and faculty from the art department at UCLA shape the future of the arts in Los Angeles and beyond. We need to remember that without artists, there would be no art world.”

Leavin’s leadership certainly spurred others. During the renovation campaign, UCLA held a benefit exhibition featuring work by art department faculty, alumni, and friends. Three hundred L.A. artists, gallerists, collectors, and arts leaders attended, raising more than $700,000 for the studios and student scholarships.

A Communal Space for Creativity

Designed to be “a true artist’s neighborhood,” the 48,000-square-foot facility is equally inclusive. Informed by student and faculty input, it incorporates private studios, flexible workspace, and communal critique areas. The building is also environmentally responsible, receiving a LafargeHolcim Award in the world’s most notable competition for sustainable design.

The studios opened to the public for the first time earlier in December for UCLA’s semiannual Graduate Art Open Studios. The event showcased the work of some of the nation’s top student talent — and now a top facility, too.

To learn more, contact

Jennifer Wells Green310-825-2059

Published December 2019

Exterior of the Margo Leavin Graduate Art Studios

The Margo Leavin Graduate Art Studios opened for the fall quarter, embodying UCLA’s commitment to emerging artists and the artistic community in Los Angeles.

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