GREENSBORO, N.C. – A proposed new downtown performing arts center for Greensboro today received a $5-million pledge toward its creation.

The gift is from the family of Leonard and Tobee Kaplan through their family foundation, the Toleo Foundation.

“We were so excited by the vision of a state-of-the art downtown performing arts center presented by the community task force,” Tobee Kaplan said. “This is critical for a vibrant, forward-looking Greensboro.  Our family has been proud to support many important projects in Greensboro, and we are thrilled to be part of another project that will make Greensboro a better place to live.”

Leonard Kaplan said he is pleased with the progress of the private fundraising efforts and hopes their gift will encourage others to demonstrate their support. “We very much hope that others in our community – and there are many who have the means to do so – will join us in making significant financial commitments in support of this important project  We need a first-class performing arts center in our downtown, and that will only happen if others step up to help.”

“I am extraordinarily proud of my family’s commitment to Greensboro,” their son, Randall, said. “While many are willing to sit back and watch this effort from the sidelines, my parents decided it was important to jump in and help our city reach its economic and cultural potential.”

Through their Toleo Foundation, the Kaplans have provided significant support critical to building a wide variety of institutions important to Greensboro and North Carolina, including the Women’s Resource  Center, Triad Stage at The Pyrle Theater, Elon University School of Law, Greensboro Jewish Federation, Greensboro Jewish Family Services, the School of Public Administration at High Point University, United Way of Greater Greensboro, Eastern Music Festival and Arc of Greensboro.   

On June 5, The Cemala Foundation and The Joseph M. Bryan Foundation of Greater Greensboro announced $2 million and $1 million, respectively, in donations to the performing arts center. Previously, the Phillips Foundation pledged $3.5 million, and Lorillard, Inc., committed another $1 million.

In May, the Greensboro City Council committed $20 million in public funding for this project, which will come from parking fees, a user fee on the tickets sold in the facility, and a portion of the city’s hotel/motel tax. The city council challenged private donors to commit $20 million in private funds.