Dennis Law Explores Artistic New Institute With $20 Million Gift

As a child in Hong Kong, Dennis Law dreamed of becoming a doctor by watching Ben Casey on American television.

Meanwhile, his parents, Joseph and Loretta Law, became wildly successful in manufacturing plastics, including Star Wars action figures for the Kenner Products toy company. They triumphed over politics and defended workers’ rights while setting a philanthropic example for their four sons. Dennis and his three brothers all earned medical degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, became doctors and have been generous to their communities.

Loretta and Dennis Law

But, as the $20 million gift to the University of Denver from the Dennis K. Law Foundation and Loretta Law shows, this is no ordinary story of perseverance and success.

“The Law family’s generosity inspires our community to imagine on an international scale,” said Chancellor Rebecca Chopp, who traveled to China last year to experience Dennis Law’s vision to create an entirely new body of digital and performance content that appeals to cultures of the East and the West. “They bring the world to our campus, so we may learn from one another, exchange ideas and create strong, cross-cultural bonds.”

Dennis Law’s gift established the Joseph and Loretta Law Institute of Arts and Technology, which officially launched in February by hosting the first Denver International Electronic Music Festival. Held at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts, it was the first of many initiatives fusing arts and technology, exploring multicultural artistic frontiers and bringing new art and performance experiences to the region. “With this gift, I am so pleased to honor my parents,” said Law. “The Institute is a bridge to advancing all causes that are educational and enriching, not only for the University of Denver but also for the people of Denver and Colorado.”

The first Denver International Electronic Music Festival

In 2001, Law retired his successful cardiology practice in Denver to concentrate more fully on theatrical expression and bridging cultural divides. Since then, he has created and produced several large-scale productions he describes as Chinese action musicals. “Terracotta Warriors,” “Tang Concubines” and “Monkey King” all played the Buell Theatre in Denver, and they have been performed nearly a thousand times across North America and China.

In addition to the annual music festival, the Law Institute will provide innovative art, multicultural and technological experiences and activities intended to expand artistic horizons.