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Kimmel Center in PA Receives Multi-Million Dollar Grants

 Kimmel Center, Inc. (KCI) Board Chairman William P. Hankowsky and President and CEO Anne Ewers announced today the implementation of a series of agreements totaling $63.7 million among a group of area philanthropies, private donors, and its banks that will both relieve KCI of liability for construction debt and substantially augment the Kimmel Center's endowment.

 H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest, the William Penn Foundation, the Neubauer Family Foundation, and The Pew Charitable Trusts will collectively provide $25 million to retire the Kimmel Center's debt in accordance with an agreement with Wachovia and Citizens banks.

 Concurrently, Sidney Kimmel has pledged $25 million to the endowment, bringing his total support for the center bearing his name to $60 million. Sidney Kimmel's gift, along with $13.7 million in additional major gifts from the Board of Directors, brings the value of the Kimmel Center's endowment to more than $72 million. Dorrance H. Hamilton has also contributed an additional $2.5 million, raising her total commitment to the Kimmel Center to $10 million.

 In addition to these funds, the Kimmel Center is appreciative of Governor Edward G. Rendell's support of $5.5 million on behalf of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania toward the Kimmel Center's capital needs. The City of Philadelphia has also committed $2 million for capital improvements.

 "This is a monumental moment for the city of Philadelphia and the Kimmel Center," said Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell, who is committed to eliminating the construction debt. "As the cornerstone of the Avenue of the Arts, the Kimmel Center has become the region's most exciting and dynamic performing arts magnet. It attracts visitors from Pennsylvania and from around the country and the world to its performances. It is now possible for the Kimmel Center to further fulfill its mission of hosting world-class performances for generations to come by relieving itself of its construction debt and increasing its endowment. Everyone in our region owes a tremendous amount of gratitude to the organizations and individuals who stepped forward to make this happen."

"It is a great day for the Kimmel Center and the dawn of a new era for the performing arts in our region," said Kimmel Center Chairman of the Board William P. Hankowsky. "Through the careful and thoughtful guidance of our Board of Directors and our administration, led by Anne Ewers, the Kimmel Center is now positioned to have a financially healthy and artistically vibrant future. There are many people to thank, but without Sidney Kimmel's vision, and the support of Gerry Lenfest, the William Penn Foundation, the Neubauer Family Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Mrs. Dorrance H. Hamilton, and the collaborative spirit of Wachovia and Citizens banks, this amazing accomplishment would never have happened."

 "I am very proud of the Philadelphia region," said Kimmel Center President and CEO Anne Ewers. "In my nine short months at the helm of this institution, I have learned that at its core this community truly values the performing arts and how they can improve our lives. The announcement today so clearly illustrates that commitment. This monumental task was led seamlessly by our Board, particularly Endowment Committee Chair Harold Honickman. Together, we will continue to provide state-of-the-art performing arts spaces to our world-class resident companies, while embracing our role as a presenting organization and a catalyst for creative artistic collaborations."

 "The amount of support and funds that Anne Ewers and her Board have generated in such a short time is truly astounding. Her leadership was the linchpin," said Rebecca Rimel, President and CEO, The Pew Charitable Trusts. "On behalf of The Pew Charitable Trusts, I would like to extend our gratitude to our partners who so willingly worked together to ensure the future for the Kimmel Center, all of its resident companies, and performing arts audiences across the region."

 "This is a great moment for all of us who call the Kimmel Center home," said James Undercofler, President and CEO, The Philadelphia Orchestra. "Anne and her team have done an amazing job in building a more secure future for the Center and, in turn, all of its resident companies."

 "Philadanco is thrilled to have been a resident company of the Kimmel Center since its inception," said Joan Myers Brown, Philadanco Founder and Executive Artistic Director. "Alleviating some of the Kimmel's financial constraints will allow all of us to better utilize the facility and to concentrate on our core mission of bringing the finest performances to Philadelphia audiences for many years to come."

Philadelphia's premier performing arts venue opened its doors in December of 2001 at a cost of $254 million. While initial costs for the project were funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the City of Philadelphia, and contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations, the organization was left with significant construction debt. With the burden of construction debt relieved and the current infusion of endowment funds, the Kimmel Center has a solid foundation with which it can fulfill its mission and commitment to the community. Having recently received affirmation of its business model from Deloitte Financial Advisory Services, area donors have increased confidence and support for the Kimmel Center's vision. Embracing this support, the Kimmel Center will continue to serve as one of the region's favorite destinations, with internationally-recognized performances by its resident companies, complemented by its own Kimmel Center Presents and Cadillac Broadway series, performed both in its halls, and within its public spaces.

Kimmel Center, Inc., a charitable, not-for-profit organization, provides a rich diversity of programming through its Kimmel Center Presents sponsored by Citi and Cadillac Broadway series of performances, as well as arts in education and community outreach. The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and the Academy of Music together serve as home to eight Resident Company performing arts organizations including: The Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Ballet, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, American Theater Arts for Youth, Philadanco, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and Peter Nero and the Philly Pops®. Kimmel Center, Inc. owns, manages, supports, and maintains The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, which includes Verizon Hall, Perelman Theater, Innovation Studio, and the Merck Arts Education Center. Kimmel Center, Inc. also manages the Academy of Music, owned by The Philadelphia Orchestra Association. 

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