Press Release: Celebrity Series of Boston Announces $23 Million Capital Campaign

The LIVE PERFORMANCE! Arts For All campaign will increase the endowment, innovation, and annual funds, making an enduring and positive impact on the arts in Boston

Contact: Stephanie Janes PR, (617) 419-0445, stephanie@stephaniejanespr.com
Download Photo Gallery | Celebrity Series Press Room

(For Immediate Release, Boston) Celebrity Series of Boston, one of the nation’s most highly regarded performing arts presenting organizations, announces the public launch of its $23 million LIVE PERFORMANCE! Arts For All capital campaign. The funds will be dedicated to expanding the artistic footprint of the Celebrity Series to include more artists’ debuts and works in new and mixed artistic genres, grow community programs that introduce the joy of live performance to new audiences, and build a stronger infrastructure that will capitalize on state-of-the-art technology.

The impact of the campaign will be on the stage, behind the stage, in the audience, and in the community. With only one capital campaign in its history to date, now is the time for the Celebrity Series to undertake this ambitious campaign; not because of need, but because of vision.

Gary Dunning, President and Executive Director of the Celebrity Series, says, “The fact that we can announce commitments of $16 million against our campaign goal of $23 million is a testament to the dedication of our Board of Directors and lead donors who continue to amaze me with their generosity and passion for Celebrity Series’ mission to present artists who inspire and enrich our community. I am so grateful to all our donors and to our Board of Directors for recognizing the need for a strong balance sheet and the benefits of financial stability in service of artistic mission. The combination of endowment, innovation, and annual funds will provide us the best possible combination of support for long term stability and short and mid-term investments to catalyze artistic programming, community engagement and best-of-class support systems.”

Founded in 1938 and approaching its 80th season, Celebrity Series of Boston has built an enduring reputation for artistic excellence and innovative curation. Celebrity Series presents over sixty-five main stage performances across eight to ten venues in Boston and Cambridge each season and is a critical and unique part of the cultural fabric of Boston. The Series brings great artists from a variety of artistic genres to perform in some of the world’s greatest concert halls and stages. Without Celebrity Series, Bostonians would have to travel to the cultural capitals of the world—New York, London, Paris, Shanghai, Buenos Aires—to see the artists who appear on Celebrity Series stages every season.

Board Chair Joshua Boger says, “Capital campaigns can play an incredibly important role in the life of an organization; energizing stakeholders, catalyzing strategic plans, and impelling the organization forward to realize its mission and vision. Now is the time for the Celebrity Series to embark on this journey. Not because of need, but because of vision. Not because of desperation, but because of unrealized potential. The structure of this campaign is unique and driven by a strategic view of our future. The benefits will accrue not just to current stakeholders and audiences, but to generations to come—so that the impact of Celebrity Series will be felt in Boston and beyond for many years.”

Having the flexibility to present artists in multiple venues ranging from 250 to 3,600 seats has allowed the Series to develop meaningful relationships with host venues and hundreds of organizational partners. Celebrity Series has a longstanding commitment to community engagement programs which extends beyond the concert halls. Community engagement programs connect the Series with a dynamic network of over 200 partners, reaching thousands of individuals through more than 150 activities each season. By activating public spaces and making the performing arts more visible and accessible, the Series raises the level of cultural participation in the city and strengthens Celebrity Series’ reputation as a leader and advocate for arts and culture in the city.

Celebrity Series has maintained a solid financial base has achieved a balanced budget for the past three years. The 2017-18 budget is balanced and on track, the current endowment is $5.6 million, and the balance sheet remains strong. Celebrity Series adopted a new strategic plan in 2012 under Executive Director Gary Dunning, and since that time has delivered significant increases in ticket revenue and annual contributions.

Dunning continues by saying, “As we take our plans to a larger circle of donors, I am confident and excited that we will achieve our goal and thereby continue to provide Greater Boston with the quality, variety and diversity of artists and genres for decades to come.”

The $23 million campaign will be divided across three separate funds to ensure the long-terms stability of the organization and its ability to bring the arts to concert halls and Boston’s neighborhoods: 

Endowment Fund
Our goal is to raise $10 million in capital, thereby increasing our overall endowment to $15 million. This will improve long-term stability and growth for the organization as a whole.

Innovation Fund
Our goal is to raise $5 million in capital to start a new fund for performances, projects, and initiatives that are new to Boston or the organization. This will be a draw-down fund, which will be applied to the annual budget over a 14-15 year period.

Annual Fund
Our goal is to raise $8 million over three years in Annual support. The Annual Fund provides unrestricted operating revenue to the organization on an annual basis. This revenue supports world-class performances, emerging artists, commissioning of new work, community programs, and ticket access programs for Celebrity Series performances.

More About Celebrity Series of Boston
Celebrity Series of Boston was founded in 1938 by pianist and impresario Aaron Richmond. Over the course of its 79-year history, Celebrity Series has presented an array of the world’s greatest performing artists, including Sergei Rachmaninoff, Arturo Toscanini, Ignace Paderewski, Artur Rubenstein, Vladimir Horowitz, Glenn Gould, Fritz Kreisler, Jascha Heifetz, Isaac Stern, Andrés Segovia, Kirsten Flagstad, Marian Anderson, Luciano Pavarotti, Béla Bartók, Igor Stravinsky, Martha Graham, Ballet Russe De Monte Carlo, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Mstislav Rostropovich, and the New York City Opera Company. From orchestras and chamber ensembles, vocal and piano music, to dance companies, jazz, spoken word, and more, the Celebrity Series believes in the power of excellence and innovation in the performing arts to enrich life experiences, transform lives, and build better communities. Through its Arts for All! community programs, the Celebrity Series seeks to build a community of Greater Boston where the performing arts are a valued, lifelong, shared experience–on stages, in schools, at home–everywhere. celebrityseries.org

###