Foundation Donates $25 Million for Orlando Performing Arts Center

Classic Arts News   Foundation Donates $25 Million for Orlando Performing Arts Center
 
The planned Orlando Performing Arts Center (OPAC), which will house the Orlando Philharmonic, Orlando Opera and Orlando Ballet, now has a name and an extra $25 million in its coffers.

The Orlando Sentinel reports that ,in recognition of a gift from Dr. Phillips Charities, the arts complex will be called the Dr. P. Phillips Orlando Performing Arts Center.

The complex, planned for a 9-acre site across Orange Avenue from City Hall, will house a 2,800-seat hall for Broadway tours and other amplified entertainment, an 1,800-seat concert hall, a 300-seat theater, an outdoor performance space, classrooms and rehearsal space. Barton Myers Associates of Los Angeles was named the center's architect in January of last year.

The center is projected to cost about $389 million, according to the Sentinel. Of that amount, about $314 million will come from public sources, including county tourist tax revenues, state sales tax revenues and downtown Orlando property taxes.

The OPAC board has committed to raise $100 million, including $25 million for an endowment whose interest income would help pay for the center's operations, reports the paper.

Dr. Phillips Charities, the umbrella name for the Dr. P. Phillips Foundation and Dr. Phillips Inc., is named for Philip Phillips, a native of Memphis, Tennessee who came to Central Florida in 1894 and founded a citrus empire. The Phillips family are reportedly music lovers. "We're so proud to have them be the naming entity because they have such a great reputation in Central Florida for doing things well and doing them right," Jim Pugh, president of the OPAC board, told the Sentinel.

Another recent gift came from Harvey and Carol Massey, who donated $1 million, according to the Orlando Business Journal. This brings the total of private donations raised to $46.5 million, almost half the $100 million private sector fundraising goal since the campaign kicked off last November. Other gifts to OPAC include $10 million from the DeVos family, $7.5 million from Jim and Alexis Pugh, and $1 million each from Bank of America, Richard C. Kessler and Harriett Lake.

Rita Bornstein, president emerita of Rollins College and chair of the center's fundraising committee, told the Sentinel that she expects further donations as a result of the Phillips' gift. "I think people are going to want to participate early because they want the opportunity to name the important halls."


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