Walt Disney World Co. Gives $12.5 Million for Performing Arts Center in Orlando

Classic Arts News   Walt Disney World Co. Gives $12.5 Million for Performing Arts Center in Orlando
The Walt Disney World Company will donate $12.5 million towards the new performing arts center planned for downtown Orlando.

The 1,800-seat concert hall will be named for the entertainment giant. Other plans for the venue include a 300-seat theater, educational facilities and a public plaza for outdoor performances.

When completed, the center will house the Orlando Philharmonic, Orlando Ballet, Orlando Opera and Festival of Orchestras, as well as provide a venue for touring shows.

The Orlando Sentinel quoted Disney World president Meg Crofton as saying, "We've always been committed to local arts. It's a major endeavor for the community, and we want to be part of that endeavor."

The complex will be called the Dr. P. Phillips Orlando Performing Arts Center, thanks to a $25 million pledge from the Dr. Phillips Charities. Center officials have reportedly raised $67 million in pledges since last fall and are two-thirds of the way toward their goal of raising $100 million in private funds, according to the paper.

Public money for the center will come from the city and the county, as well as from the state of Florida, according to the Sentinel.

Orlando and Orange County commissioners will vote on Monday (May 21) whether to give their approval to the center. The City Commission will vote on operations and maintenance agreements.

The arts center, whose estimated cost is now $450 million, will lose a $15 million grant from the state to pay for a 300-seat theater inside the center, if the local agreements are not approved by August 1, according to the Sentinel.

Disney World also pledged $1 million towards a renovation of the Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola Park, according to a statement. In 1989, Walt Disney World Resort contributed $425,000 in cash and services to design and build the amphitheater, which has served as a site for musical and artistic community events.

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