Cleveland, OH – KeyBank, a longtime supporter of the not-for-profit mission of Playhouse Square, announced a $10 million gift to the performing arts center’s Advancing the Legacy Campaign. While KeyBank’s contribution supports all five of the campaign’s objectives – capital improvements, education programming, endowment growth, neighborhood transformation and new production – a portion of the gift is designated specifically to provide for ticket and transportation subsidy to bring 40,000 Cleveland Metropolitan School District students and an additional 35,000 students from across Northeast Ohio to performances at Playhouse Square over the next five years.
“We are privileged to have one of the country’s most active and historic performing arts centers right here in Cleveland,” said Beth Mooney, chairman and CEO of KeyCorp. “KeyBank has been a supporter of Playhouse Square for many years because we believe in the organization’s economic, educational and social value to the community. We want to do our part to help that good work continue and to make sure students in our community experience live performing arts in these historic venues.”
For 20 years, KeyBank has contributed philanthropically to Playhouse Square: the 1998 Allen Theatre renovation; the Idea Center at Playhouse Square; the Allen Theatre Project, which brought Cleveland Play House and Cleveland State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance to Playhouse Square as resident companies; and the 25th anniversary of Playhouse Square Partners are just a few examples.
“We could not be more grateful for KeyBank’s belief in our mission and the support they have given to every initiative we have undertaken in the last 20 years,” said Art J. Falco, president and CEO of Playhouse Square. “Their gift to the Advancing the Legacy Campaign reaffirms their commitment to Playhouse Square and to the community. We are eager to share live theater with more students as the specially designated funds in KeyBank’s gift will make possible.”
In honor of this contribution, the State Theatre will be renamed the “KeyBank State Theatre.” Signage is expected to be in place by mid-September.
“Advancing the Legacy, The Campaign for Playhouse Square,” led by chairs Thomas Adler, K.K. Sullivan and Daniel Walsh, is the largest philanthropic effort ever pursued by the organization. $88 million has been raised toward the campaign’s $100 million goal to date.
About Advancing the Legacy Objectives
Saved from imminent destruction in the 1970s, the historic Playhouse Square theaters were renovated and reopened in the 1980s but had not been updated since that time. Facility and technological improvements are necessary to guarantee the longevity of the venues and improve audience experience. To date, the State Theatre and lobby have been repainted and lighting fixtures have been converted to LED, the Ohio Theatre George Gund Foundation Lobby has been re-created and additional restroom facilities have been added to the Ohio and KeyBank State Theatres and are under construction in the Connor Palace.
The Playhouse Square endowment is currently at $22.5 million, a fraction of what is needed to preserve the organization’s incomparable assets for future generations. In comparison, the endowment for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. stands at $96 million.
The $16 million Dazzle the District project, including the world record-setting GE Chandelier, is part of this campaign.
The cornerstone of community engagement and education programming at Playhouse Square is theater for young audiences. The organization plans to increase the accessibility of live theater for school groups and establish a dedicated fund for the creation of new children’s theater productions in memory of arts education champion Colleen Porter.
With remarkable resources available for the creation of new works, Playhouse Square has the potential to attract pre-Broadway productions to Cleveland, fueling the local economy and bolstering the reputation of both the organization and the city within the performing arts industry.
More information about the history of Playhouse Square and its impact on the city is available at playhousesquare.org/history.