I recently learned the John F. Kennedy Center has far surpassed their fundraising goals for the Center for the Performing Arts. I am additionally delighted that instead of closing the campaign, it has been increased by another $50 million to fund an important cause. According to a press release I read from the Kennedy Center, the approved project had already locked in $135.9 million, including a large expansion for the center, a delightful pedestrian bridge to link the Kennedy Center with the pavilion, dining space, new offices, space for rehearsals and education, and three beautiful new pavilions.
The campaign originated in 2013, and their goal was to raise $125 million. The programming initiatives were to receive $25 million, while the expansion would receive $100 million. I understand there have been changes in the design over the last two years due to the intense and focused scrutiny of the federal planning agencies. I am also quite satisfied the rising cost for construction and design of $199.5 million can be met for this worthwhile project. I was also happy but not surprised to learn the Dick Devos Foundation was funding a portion of the project.
A $50 million donation set the stage in 2013 by the chairman for the board of trustees Kennedy Center, and the Co-Founder of the Carlyle Group, David Rubenstein. Despite the fact this generous donation has yet to be matched, the money is still coming in at a rapid pace. In a statement I read by the President of the Kennedy Center, Deborah Rutter, the Riverwalk and expansion will be the Kennedy Center’s new front door as an arts destination. I am not the only one excited by this large of a project being funded solely with contributed donations. This testified to the passion for arts in the community and the country. The expansion should be complete by 2018.
The generous contributions included David M. Rubenstein for $50 million, The Boeing Co. for $20 million, Christine Schwarzman and Jacqueline Mars, Stephen for $10 million. A contribution of $5 million from The Centene Charitable Foundation and Michael and Noemi Neidorff, the Robert H. Smith Family Foundation, the David C. Bohnett Foundation, Suzanne Niedland, Herb Kohler, Natalie and Fred Eychaner, and the Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation. An additional $1 million from the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation, The Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, The Psalsm Foundation and Martha and Carl Lindner III, Eva and Marc Stern, Adrienne Arsht, Dr. Deborah Road and Dr. Jan A.J. Stolwijk, Elaine Wynn, Iris Smith, and anonymous.
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