The Becky Eiker Foundation was established in 1996, following a trip Becky and Bill Eiker took to Loveland, Colorado, which is a showplace of public art. In 1999, the Eikers donated a lifesize bronze newsboy "Extra, Extra", to the City of Helena as a thank you to the community.
Becky and Bill came to Helena in 1969, to accept teaching positions in Helena School District #1. Bill taught mathematics at Helena High School, and was active in student activities, curriculum development and professional activities. Bill retired in 1994, after 30 years in education, and continues to be an active participant in community affairs. Becky taught art at C R Anderson Junior High School and Capital High School. She became a full time artist in 1975, as a studio potter, then re-careering as a sculptor.
Sales of the maquette version of the lifesize newsboy provided seed money for the establishment of the Foundation. One of the goals of the foundation is dedicated to promoting and acquiring public art for Helena. Other goals of the Becky Eiker Foundation include community art education for individuals, institutions, and organizations
The Becky Eiker Foundation was created to promote and encourage visual art in the Helena area. The Foundation is designated as a public benefit corporation.
The primary goal of the Foundation is to facilitate the creation and placement of public art by establishing a tax-deductible source of funding for this purpose.
The definition of a public work of art will be made in conjunction with that of the Helena Public Art Committee:
- Artistic excellence/quality - the piece exhibits a high degree of artistic skill
- Innovation/Originality - the piece is an original or of a limited edition
- Timelessness - the piece should have relevance to the community in future years
- Site Compatibility - the piece is appropriate to its site in terms of style, scale, material, form, content, and function
- Permanence - the piece is sound, resistant to theft, vandalism and weathering
- Communicative Function - the piece serves a communicative function such as one of the following:
- expresses a world view
- characterizes a certain time and place in history
- addresses social, political, and/or cultural concerns
- advances proven aesthetics or new aesthetic and/or technical ground
- expresses the ideals and/or aspirations of the community
- Safety - the piece poses no inordinate safety or liability concerns
- Community Appeal - the piece appeals to and is respectful of a broad variety of tastes
- Balance - represents a balance of city inventory
Other goals of the Becky Eiker Foundation include community art education, through voluntary grants, to individuals, institutions, and organizations.