WOODSTOCK —The Woodstock Academy received a landmark gift to support the fine arts.
Joan Loos of Pomfret and Naples, Fla., has made a commitment of historic level, and as a result, The Academy has renamed its newly acquired fine arts facility the Loos Center for the Arts.
Loos had already established a scholarship in honor of her late husband, August “Gus” Loos who was the long-time owner of Loos & Company, headquartered in Pomfret. This gift is a way to further honor her husband and their company while supporting fine arts opportunities for thousands of students and community members for years to come. Loos did not attend The Academy herself, but her grandchildren did, and as a result of their experiences, she appreciates the tremendous educational value The Academy provides to its students and the community. Loos has supported the fine arts in many ways throughout her life and has been enthusiastic about The Academy’s vision for the Center since it opened.
The gift will be used for two purposes: It will allow The Academy to update the outdated infrastructure within the facility by replacing the rigging, lighting, sound, staging, and more; and it will establish a restricted endowment that should yield more than $100,000 per year to contribute directly to programming and capital needs within the facility.
The Loos Center for the Arts houses a 1,000-seat theater, The Gallery, a lecture hall, and several classrooms. Since taking ownership in the summer of 2017, The Academy has made significant improvements through other generous gifts, and has hosted student concerts and musicals, several outside concerts, five exhibits in The Gallery, numerous performances presented by both the Performing Arts of Northeast Connecticut and the Three C’s, non-profit meetings, the Woodstock Middle School’s fine arts performances, and multiple conferences.
Chris Sandford, head of school at The Woodstock Academy, said: “This gift will immediately impact our fine arts students and our ability to host a wider variety of outside performances and exhibits. This is a true service to our entire community and we are extremely grateful to Mrs. Loos for her incredible generosity.”
Jonathan Sturdevant, associate head of school for advancement at The Woodstock Academy, added, “Joan has been a friend to The Academy for years, and when we had the opportunity to work together on this project, it just made sense. Her commitment has the potential to boost the philanthropic landscape at The Academy and in this entire region, and the magnitude of her gift will be felt by students and residents of the Quiet Corner for years to come. We have completely enjoyed our relationship and this process, and she is a wonderful partner to us here at The Academy.”
Work to upgrade the Loos Center for the Arts has already begun and will continue throughout the 2019-20 school year while still allowing for the different spaces to be used. The endowment will be completely funded over the next five years.


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