Asolo Rep Announces Barancik Foundation Gift and Celebrates the Community's Generosity
Asolo Repertory Theatre's ambitious capital and endowment campaign, Staging Our Future, has made a significant leap forward with the awarding of a challenge grant from the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation.
The Foundation will match the first $3 million raised for the Koski Center's endowment with a $1 million grant. Asolo Rep's Board Chair, Ann Charters, said of the gift, "We are incredibly grateful to the Barancik Foundation for its endorsement of our exciting plans for this next step in our pursuit of artistic excellence. This challenge grant, once awarded, will meet our goal for the Koski Center Endowment and will ensure that this expansion is funded into the future."
"Theater deepens the human experience and Chuck and Margie long believed in the importance of the Asolo's work in doing just that," says Teri A Hansen, President | CEO of Barancik Foundation. "Now this lasting gift will honor their legacy through an organization they loved so dearly."
The Barancik Endowment Challenge runs hand-in-hand with the Coville Capital Challenge, which will match $3 million in capital funds with a $1 million cash gift from Margot and Warren Coville. Since launching its campaign, the theatre has raised a total of $8,145,750 with approximately $1.2 million dedicated to the campaign's endowment goal.
On Thursday, December 12, Asolo Rep hosted a "family gathering" to recognize the legacy of generosity it has enjoyed from the Sarasota/Bradenton community. Looking to its past, the theatre, along with Ringling Museum's Executive Director Steven High and Sarasota Ballet's Artistic Director Iain Webb, unveiled new signage in the FSU Performing Arts Center recognizing the instrumental support provided by the late Ulla Searing to the constituent organizations on the cultural campus. Mrs. Searing became the second member of Asolo Rep's Crystal Society, which recognizes individuals who have contributed $1 million or more over their lifetime of giving to the theatre. The new signage is displayed outside the Asolo Rep box office.
Asolo Rep's Managing Director Linda DiGabriele and FSU/Asolo Conservatory Director Greg Leaming dedicated the Asolo Rep Box Office to William A. (Bill) Yandow. Mr. Yandow made a significant impact on both Asolo Rep and the Conservatory over a short period of six years, supporting special capital projects, marketing initiatives, and artistic excellence. The Conservatory had already named its production season for Yandow to recognize his legacy gift to the program. His legacy gift to Asolo Rep was the theatre's largest gift ever from an individual.
Turning to the future, Asolo Rep also recognized the generous support it has received from the Muriel O'Neil Fund for the Performing Arts at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. Gifts from the fund have made possible a state-of-the-art sound system in the Mertz Theatre, an endowed Fellowship for an FSU/Asolo Conservatory student, and has provided crucial capital support for Asolo Rep's Staging Our Future Capital and Endowment Campaign to expand the company's Robert and Beverly Koski Production Center. The expansion of its production facility will add two new rehearsal halls, meeting rooms and offices for resident and visiting production staff, and critical space for the expansion of the theatre's Education & Engagement programs. To recognize this gift, Asolo Rep has named the Education & Engagement Director position for Muriel O'Neil.
"These generous champions-- Ulla, Bill, and Muriel-have made it possible for us to grow Asolo Rep into this world class theatre now enjoying its sixty-first season," remarked Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards. "We look back with gratitude for their great contributions, and pledge to honor their memories by continuing to bring great art to our community into the future."
"The generosity this community has shown to Asolo Rep, really throughout its history, is so inspiring," said Asolo Rep's Managing Director Linda DiGabriele. "From Ulla to Bill, to Muriel and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, our present-day champions, like the Barancik Foundation and Margot and Warren Coville, and many others, are picking up the baton from their predecessors and carrying that generosity forward into a bright future."