Music Center of Los Angeles County Announces $20 Million Gift From Glorya Kaufman Dance Foundation

March 17, 2009

The Largest Single Gift in Los Angeles Dance History Will Sustain and Revitalize the Center’s World-Class Program and Introduce ‘Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Center

LOS ANGELES, March 17 /PRNewswire/ — Local officials and leaders of Los Angeles’ arts community today joined to celebrate the $20 million gift to the Music Center of Los Angeles County by the Glorya Kaufman Dance Foundation. Named in honor of Kaufman, “Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Center” will allow the Center to continue to present internationally renowned dance companies, engage new audiences and enhance outreach programs.

The morning event was attended by premier dance philanthropist Glorya Kaufman; Executive Director of the Glorya Kaufman Dance Foundation, Carolyn Baker; County Supervisor, Zev Yaroslavsky; Los Angeles Mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa; Alvin Ailey(R) American Dance Theater Artistic Director, Judith Jamison; Alvin Ailey dancer, Linda Celeste Sims; Music Center Chairman, John Emerson; and Music Center President, Stephen Rountree.

“Through this act of generosity, the Glorya Kaufman name will be linked in perpetuity with world-class dance presentations and exceptional programs that share the joy and magic of dance with the community, including young dancers, students and teachers,” said Zev Yaroslavsky, Los Angeles County Supervisor.

The gift will establish an endowment to provide crucial financial backing that supports the Music Center’s dance programming – one of the largest and most prestigious dance presentation series in the nation – and makes it possible for the Music Center to develop a multi-year plan for dance. Support will begin with the 2009/2010 season and continue annually. The Glorya Kaufman Dance Foundation has fueled the growth of numerous other dance programs, including UCLA, The Juilliard School and Alvin Ailey(R) American Dance Theater.

“Too often in tough economic times, the arts are the first area to suffer cuts in funding. In a city driven by its creative industries, this is simply not an option,” said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. “Thanks to Glorya Kaufman’s generous and sizeable donation, Los Angeles’ creative economy will continue to run strong.”

“The arts are critical to the life blood of this nation,” said Glorya Kaufman. “During this difficult time when art programs are barely getting by, we must do our part to protect what could be lost. I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of the Music Center as it brings world-class performances to Los Angeles.”

In its sixth season, the Music Center’s dance program presents critically acclaimed performances by distinguished companies of national and international stature. In addition, the program offers access to these companies and a host of educational opportunities via master classes, pre-performance lectures, performances for student audiences, and open rehearsals.

“The Music Center is an institution that has been built by strong women with vision,” said Stephen Rountree, president and CEO of the Music Center. “From Dorothy Chandler, who dreamed of and developed a leading cultural center in the heart of Los Angeles, Lillian Disney and Diane Disney Miller, who led the way to build the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Brindell Gottlieb, whose gift made the recent renovation of the Mark Taper Forum possible, and now Glorya Kaufman – the single most important patron of dance in our time.”

“Glorya Kaufman is a woman of such courage who is heeding the call of our President that each of us do our part in this time of great difficulty in our country. Dance at the Music Center is a vital part of the cultural fabric of our city and I am thrilled that the foundation is able to step up and do our part,” said Carolyn Baker, executive director of The Glorya Kaufman Dance Foundation.

Dance at the Music Center has presented such distinguished American companies as Alvin Ailey(R) American Dance Theater, New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Miami City Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Mark Morris Dance Group, and Garth Fagan Dance. International engagements have included The Kirov Ballet and Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre, Eifman Ballet, Beijing Modern Dance Company, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal, and Compania Nacional de Danza 2.

“Glorya Kaufman’s magnificent new gift symbolizes the importance of dance, not only in Los Angeles, but throughout the United States and in the world, and it will bring Alvin Ailey(R) American Dance Theater to center stage at the Music Center for many years to come,” said Judith Jamison, Alvin Ailey(R) American Dance Theater artistic director.

“In this critical time when the recession is threatening philanthropy and our performing art programs are struggling to survive in this country, Mrs. Kaufman sets a powerful example for the private sector stepping in to save the arts,” said John Emerson, chairman of the Music Center.

About the Music Center of Los Angeles County

For more than 40 years, the Music Center of Los Angeles County has been one of Southern California’s premier cultural destinations. The Center is home to four internationally acclaimed resident companies: The Los Angeles Philharmonic, Center Theatre Group, LA Opera and the Los Angeles Master Chorale. It offers the largest presentation of dance in Los Angeles, participatory arts activities, popular music and festivals that reflect the exciting diversity of the Southern California community, and nationally recognized education programs for children and families. The Music Center is comprised of four venues: Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Ahmanson Theatre, Mark Taper Forum and Walt Disney Concert Hall. For more information, please visit www.musiccenter.org

SOURCE Music Center of Los Angeles County

Source: newswire

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