Local Legends Pledge to Match the Next Half Million Dollars of Donations!
Largest-ever Challenge Grant Will Match Gifts Until May 31, up to $500,000
For the fourth consecutive year, local arts lovers, philanthropists and community leaders have stepped up to pledge incredibly generous donations in order to challenge you to join them in supporting Overture Center and the arts in Madison.
In the spring of 2012, Overture Center Foundation Board member Dianne Christensen pledged an incredible $250,000 donation. Dianne’s amazing gift inspired the Local Legends program, which began in 2013 with Dianne again pledging to match $100,000 in donations from the community. MGE Foundation and the Kelly Family Foundation, headed by local philanthropist Terry Kelly, joined her in pledging $100,000 each to become the first Local Legends. Since then, Bea and Lau Christensen, Joe and Mary Ellyn Sensenbrenner, Ron and Deborah Krantz and an anonymous donor have all joined the ranks of the Local Legends.
We’re adding five more individuals and families to the list this year, and their challenge to you is steeper than ever! Those five new Local Legends have pledged $100,000 each to match, dollar for dollar, every donation between now and May 31, up to half a million dollars.
The people and families joining the ranks of Overture’s Local Legends — donors of $100,000 or more — include:
• Jim and Sue Bakke
• Diane Ballweg
• Jim Imhoff and Kitty Kuhl
• Jonathan and Susan Lipp
• Tom and Peggy Pyle
Diane Ballweg, Jim Imhoff and Jonathan Lipp serve on the Overture Center Foundation Board of Directors. Sue Bakke, Ballweg and Peggy Pyle all serve on the National Committee on the Performing Arts of the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
The announcement marks the launch of the arts center’s “Your Overture, My Overture, Our Overture” campaign, highlighting the many ways people engage with the arts.
“We regularly attend performances in Chicago and many other cities around the country, and I can say confidently that Overture Center is one of the finest venues we’ve seen,” said Sue Bakke, who joins the Local Legends with her husband Jim. “Madison is fortunate to have such a truly world-class arts center. My goal is to help our community really understand what a treasure we have, and to challenge them to support it and keep it in pristine condition.”
“I’m always astonished when I hear the statistics, but it’s the stories that really get to me,” said Ballweg. “Overture provides more than 220,000 artistic and educational experiences every year for little or no cost through its community programs. Every one of those 220,000 touches a life, brightens a day, makes someone a better and more creative person than they were before. That’s powerful.”
“When Jerry Frautschi gave $205 million to build Overture Center, it wasn’t just a gift to the arts. It was a gift to downtown. A gift to the economy of the entire region, really,” said Imhoff. “Just look at all the development happening downtown, all the new condos and apartments and retail. There is a lot of momentum right now and we need to keep it up. Overture is the centerpiece of downtown. Overture is a major draw for talent, for families to move to Madison and to stay. We have to keep our centerpiece in good shape, keep it beautiful and keep it busy. That’s why I’m investing.”
“Being in the audio, video and lighting business, we work with performers, artists and technicians every day,” said Jonathan Lipp, who with his wife Susan owns Madison-based Full Compass Systems, Ltd. “We know a world-class venue when we see one, and that’s what Overture is. We also know how important the quality of the venue is to the artist. Local artists deserve the best lighting, sound, and technical capabilities, and touring artists won’t come if we can’t offer those things. We’re investing in Overture to make sure all those performers have simply the best performance experience, and then keep coming back.”
“Arts build community. It’s as simple as that, really,” said Peggy Pyle. “By supporting Overture Center, we invest in the community and its future. Children involved in the arts grow into more creative adults, more entrepreneurial adults, more productive members of the creative class. Overture does a wonderful job of making the arts accessible to everyone of every age, and making the arts a part of the everyday lives of children throughout the region. I invite everyone across south central Wisconsin to join us in investing in this incredible resource.”
“This community is incredibly generous, and values the arts more than any other city I’ve lived in,” said Overture Center CEO Ted DeDee. “To raise $500,000 in the next three and a half months is a big ask, but I’m confident this community will successfully answer the challenge as it has before. We couldn’t be more thankful to all of these donors for their commitment to Overture, and to the arts here in Madison and Wisconsin.”
To qualify for the match, gifts may be made by individuals or businesses and designated to the Overture Annual Fund or in support of a community program. Performance or program sponsorships will not be counted toward the match.
Overture Center for the Arts in Madison, Wisconsin features seven state-of-the-art performance spaces and five galleries where national and international touring artists, ten resident companies and hundreds of local artists engage nearly half a million people in educational and artistic experiences each year.
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