$2.5 Million Established for Arts Education Endowment at The Soraya

The event was held on April 4.

By: Apr. 17, 2024
$2.5 Million Established for Arts Education Endowment at The Soraya
Enter Your Email to Unlock This Article

Plus, get the best of BroadwayWorld delivered to your inbox, and unlimited access to our editorial content across the globe.

Existing user? Just click login.

A nearly sold-out audience of 1500  performing arts lovers joined  together on Thursday, April 4 to celebrate two individuals most responsible for establishing the dazzling Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts as a San Fernando Valley cultural cornerstone, former CSUN President, Jolene Koester, and noted violinist Joshua Bell

A major announcement made at the Benefit Concert and Gala, chaired by Milt and Debbie Valera, was a $2.5 million endowment for the new Jolene Koester Music and Arts Education Endowment made possible with a leading gift from the Perenchio Foundation. The program will provide K-12 students with a wide assortment of performing arts experiences such as attending matinees, in-class workshops, master classes with noted artists and numerous engagement opportunities designed specifically for CSUN students. 

Jolene Koester, CSUN President Emerita and Interim Chancellor Emerita of the California State Universities, is the individual foremost responsible for The Soraya’s existence. Koester has served the CSU for over four decades and is among the most respected leaders in California higher education.
Violinist Joshua Bell is one of the most esteemed musical artists of our era and has performed with every major orchestra on six continents. The April 4th Gala marked Bell’s 9th appearance at The Soraya, making him one of its most beloved performers.
“This memorable performance provided an opportunity to honor two of the most important individuals in The Soraya’s history —Joshua Bell who celebrated his ninth appearance on our stage, the most of any other artist, and former CSUN President Jolene Koester,” said Soraya Executive and Artistic Director Thor Steingraber.
“It was Jolene’s remarkable tenacity that moved state and local leaders and philanthropists to realize the vision to open The Soraya in 2011. The Jolene Koester Music and Arts Education Endowment will build a permanent base of support for those much-needed education programs. We have raised $2.5M for the endowment, a healthy starting point, and we hope to double that amount within the year. This is an investment in our community, and in the audiences of the future.”


To post a comment, you must register and login.

Vote Sponsor