Kimmel Center Ends Fifth Season With Marked Successes

Classic Arts News   Kimmel Center Ends Fifth Season With Marked Successes
The Kimmel Center's fifth season has come to a close with several accomplishments of note, the Philadelphia performing arts center reported today.

The center's endowment fund, identified by many outside observers as well as the Kimmel's own management as crucial to the organization's continued health, grew by about one-third this past year, from approximately $30 million to $40 million. (The payment of remaining debt from the construction of the Kimmel Center, which opened in December 2001, caused the building of an endowment to be delayed.) Unaudited financial results for the arts center show a $900,000 surplus for the 2006-07 fiscal year on a budget of $35.5 million.

The Kimmel's two main performance series, Kimmel Center Presents and Cadillac Broadway Series presented 369 performances and events (of which 50 were free), drawing over 481,000 people.

This season's Kimmel Center Presents comprised 83 concerts by artists and ensembles from 21 countries and of varying genres. Its bestselling performances included those by saxophonist Sonny Rollins, the Gewandhaus Ochestra of Leipzig with conductor Riccardo Chailly, organist Paul Jacobs, pianist Evgeny Kissin, singer Nancy Wilson with jazz organist Trudy Pitts, singer-songwriter Lyle Lovett, the broadcast of public radio's A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor; Soweto Gospel Choir, Broadway divas Barbara Cook and Audra McDonald, country singer Loreena McKennitt, and jazz singer-pianist Harry Connick, Jr.

The Cadillac Broadway Series attracted 353,000 attendees through 236 performances in four local venues: the Academy of Music, Innovation Studio, Forrest Theatre and Perelman Theatre. Disney's The Lion King alone drew 240,000 people and generated $18 million in ticket sales; the show was also responsible for an additional $19 million in revenue for the Philadelphia region (from parking, restaurants, hotels, etc.).

Based on attendance and ticket sales revenue, the Kimmel's Broadway Series is often ranked among the top five metropolitan markets nationally for touring Broadway shows.

The Kimmel presented this past season the world premiere of a new score by Jennifer Higdon, played by violinist Jennifer Koh. The recently inaugurated Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ was also used in over 50 performances, including a recital series and a Sing-Along Messiah.

The Center also facilitated 170 independent presentations, including public concerts, lectures, private corporate events, graduations, and non-profit and social events.

In all, the Kimmel Center — in its main building (which includes Verizon Hall and the Perelman Theatre), the Academy of Music and the Forrest Theatre — drew some 1,218,000 attendees to more than 856 performances and events, an overall increase of approximately 21% from the 2005-06 season.

The Kimmel Center also reported an economic impact on the Philadelphia region of $45 million, a 12% increase over the previous season.

A recently announced partnership with Citi marked the acquisition of the Center's largest overall season sponsor and largest multi-year sponsor ever.

Kimmel Center, Inc. is a non-profit organization that owns, manages, supports and maintains the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts as well as the Academy of Music, which is owned by the Philadelphia Orchestra Association. The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and the Academy of Music serve as the home to eight resident performing arts organizations including The Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Ballet, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, American Theatre Arts for Youth, PHILADANCO, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and Peter Nero and the Philly Pops. Kimmel Center, Inc.'s mission also includes arts in education, community outreach and a rich diversity in programming through its Kimmel Center Presents and Cadiallac Broadway Series performances.

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