$50 million gift kicks off $100 million expansion project at The Kennedy Center

Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein announced a new addition to The Kennedy Center which will expand the facility southward, and over the Potomac River. Architects Steven Holl and Chris McGoy of Steven Holl Architects will design the facility, which will provide much needed space for The Kennedy Center’s arts education and arts management program.

According to the press release, the new facility will also include rehearsal space and public access spaces will include gardens, an outdoor video wall which will be used to simulcast performances and other multimedia events’, and an outdoor performance space on the river.

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Architect’s model for the Kennedy Center expansion

Chairman Rubenstein will donate $50 million toward the project, which will then require an additional $50 million for the facility and $25 million for future program initiatives. All will be raised from private donors.  “I am pleased to pledge these funds as the lead gift to the Kennedy Center expansion project and encourage others to donate to this project,” stated Mr. Rubenstein. “As the federal budget tightens, I hope more Americans will consider including nonprofit federal entities in their own philanthropy as well.” Mr. Rubenstein’s other philanthropic endeavors include major gifts to the National Archives, the Washington Monument, and the Smithsonian Institution.

Mr. Rubenstein is the most generous donor in Kennedy Center history, with gifts totaling more than $75 million.

In addition to two $10 million pledges in 2010 and 2011 for programming, educational, and outreach activities, including the Rubenstein Arts Access Program which seeks to make the arts accessible to children, young adults, and to people who have little or limited ability to attend and enjoy the performing arts, Mr. Rubenstein has underwritten several Kennedy Center, Washington National Opera, and National Symphony Orchestra programs.

Last year, the Kennedy Center installed and inaugurated the $2 million Rubenstein Family Organ in the Concert Hall. Previous underwriting includes 2011’s The Presidency of John F. Kennedy: A 50th Anniversary Celebration, the 2010 International VSA Festival in the 2009-10 season, ARABESQUE: Arts of the Arab World in the 2008-09 season, Leonard Slatkin’s farewell performance and select KC Jazz Club performances in the 2007-08 season, the six month-long, District-wide Shakespeare in Washington festival in the 2006-07 season, the NSO Pops season in 2005-06, and the Kennedy Center’s original production of Mister Roberts in the 2004-05 season.

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