The fundraising expectations for the John F. Kennedy Center For Performing Arts has far exceeded its goal. Since the numbers are looking so good, the center has decided to expand its fundraising campaign up to $50 million.
The $139.5 million the center has already raised is going towards a number of renovations and expansions. The approved project includes the riverfront pavilion and a linking pedestrian bridge. The Kennedy Center’s main building will receive a complete overhaul with new pavilions, dining space, offices and rehearsal rooms.
The fundraising effort began in 2013 with an initial goal of $125 million. Designs were changed due to federal planning agency scrutiny and construction costs. David Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlisle Group and Kennedy Center board member, gave $50 million. Money has continued to pour in from many sources.
Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter says that the new boardwalk will serve as a front door to the arts center. “The fact that the entire project is being funded by generous contributions is a testament to how many people still find the arts relevant and important,” says Rutter.
Since the Kennedy Center’s opening in 1971, more than 3 million people visit annually. The expansion is set to be completed by 2018.
Aside from Rubenstein’s multi-million dollar donation, many others have given significant amounts including Jacqueline Mars, Natalie and Herb Kohler, The Pritzer Traubert Family Foundation and the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation.
The DeVoses, heirs to the Amway product fortune are some of the most wealthy and philanthropic families in the U.S. The Michigan-based Foundation gives millions of dollars every year to the arts, foundations for the needy and schools and education.
Dick DeVos is the son of Amway co-founder Richard DeVos. He runs both is foundation as well as the one established for the family. They are also owners of the Orlando Magic NBA basketball team.