Inspiring the Next Generation of Creatives: Nelda Studios & The Karl and Nelda Buckman Fund

The Texas philanthropists will provide a new outlet for art and innovation that gives back to upcoming generations.

The Buckman Center; The University of Texas at Austin
Karl and Nelda Buckman.

Creativity is the lifeblood of innovation and a mechanism for change. Often, it is the place where solutions are identified to create change for the world.

Art comes in many forms, and innovation is one of them. Innovation is a creative process that requires collaboration and transcending the barriers of our imaginations.

In the state's capital, a new catalyst will facilitate the convergence of creativity, innovation, and art. Nelda Studios, an Austin-based media company and philanthropic organization "that lifts, nurtures, and expands opportunities for creativity and the arts," announced its official public launch in April.

The Buckman Center at The School of Design & Creative Technologies at UT Austin

The idea for Nelda Studios was born from the work of philanthropists Karl and Nelda Buckman, who began producing media content in 2018 and established The Karl and Nelda Buckman Fund in 2021 to support the success of arts, creativity, and innovation in Texas.

The first philanthropic effort by The Karl and Nelda Buckman fund is the establishment of The Buckman Center at The School of Design & Creative Technologies at The University of Texas at Austin. The Buckman Center will be a space for collaboration and research for educators, students, artists, designers, and technologists to build a community and drive the future of Texas.

The Buckman Center is funded by a generous $2 million gift from the Karl and Nelda Buckman Fund. Through its efforts, Nelda Studios focuses on production, philanthropy, and community development.

"In our educational and philanthropic work in schools and communities, Karl and I witnessed how essential creativity is for innovation, as well as for social and emotional learning," Nelda Buckman said. "That understanding inspired us to found Nelda Studios – to provide audiences and communities with media content, financial support, and direct access to the arts. We are thrilled to be investing in the next generation of creatives."

Nelda Studios

The production side of Nelda Studios serves as a media company delivering original content on various platforms that highlight the innovation behind creative communities. By supporting live productions, media content, and events, Nelda Studios will be able to showcase the convergence of content and creativity to connect students, educators, artists, and technologists to inspire the next generation of change-makers.

Nelda Studios and The Buckman Fund in support of the next generation of creatives through The Buckman Center at the School of Design & Creative Technologies in the College of Fine Arts at The University of Texas at Austin sponsors programs with educational institutions, cultural organizations, and nonprofits to encourage the development of a community filled with artists, technologists, designers, and futurists.

Community and Thought Leadership

In broader outreach, Nelda Studios has developed partnerships with organizations to promote hands-on events and thought-leadership initiatives to connect with local communities. Through this grassroots connection, Nelda Studios is on a mission to increase community access to the arts and inspire the innovator in everyone.

"Innovation and creativity are a catalyst for vibrant communities, quality schools, engaged students, academic success, civic involvement, and strong economies," Heidi Marquez Smith, CEO of the Texas Cultural Trust, said. "Over the past several years, the social and economic value of the arts has been magnified. At the same time, many performing arts venues, visual art spaces, and artists have not recovered from the pandemic. By launching Nelda Studios, Karl and Nelda Buckman not only invest in creativity and innovation, but bring vital awareness, support, and access to the arts."

The Buckman Center at The School of Design & Creative Technologies is expected to open in the fall of 2023 with 2,300 square feet outfitted with new technology to support the future of immersive design.


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