GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro announced today that Steven B. Tanger has pledged a $7.5-million challenge gift for the new downtown performing arts center in Greensboro. The new center will be named the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts.
Tanger is the president, chief executive officer and a director of Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc. The pledge is a personal one, not from the company.
The pledge, the largest yet for the performing arts center, is contingent on volunteer fundraisers increasing their goal to $35 million – and achieving it. This is an increase from the original $20-million effort The Community Foundation committed to helping with in 2012. Tanger and the volunteer fundraisers, who have been impressed and buoyed by the unprecedented fundraising success, are confident that $35 million can now be raised to ensure that the first-rate, state-of-the-art performing arts center recommended last year by a citizens task force will be built.
“I am thrilled to be a part of creating a place where families can come together to enjoy and learn about the performing arts,” Tanger said. “It is truly my honor to continue our longstanding family tradition of giving back to Greensboro. We intend to build the most beautiful center for the performing arts, with superior acoustics and cutting-edge technology, in the southeastern United States.”
The Tanger commitment brings the total of private pledges for the center to $28,324,000, all raised within just the past year. The total represents the largest private fundraising effort in Greensboro’s history.
“This is an amazing gift to Greensboro, and an exciting and critical challenge, as well,” said Kathy Manning, a Greensboro attorney who has spearheaded the fundraising efforts. “With his pledge, Steve Tanger is carrying on his family’s longtime community leadership and generosity. With his challenge, he is asking everyone with the means to join us in supporting this project. We see Steve’s level of commitment to this as even more evidence of the strong confidence our community has for this project – and its promise. Without question, Steve’s challenge pledge is a significant milestone as we strive to complete our private fundraising efforts.”
Last year, a performing arts center task force organized by the Foundation at the request of the city recommended a $60-million performing arts center downtown. The fundraising team is committed to continuing its efforts to ensure the project is completed in a way that honors the work of the task force’s recommendations. An important component of those recommendations includes the implementation of an arts stabilization fund, Manning pointed out.
“I’m really overwhelmed by the generosity of this gift – this project is transformational for our city,” Mayor Robbie Perkins said. “The performing arts center is the largest public-private partnership in the history of Greensboro. The success of this fundraising effort demonstrates in a dramatic way how big projects in this town get done by leveraging public-private partnerships. This is a historic day for Greensboro, and one for which all Greensboro citizens should be proud.”
Ground is expected to be broken for the center next June, with an anticipated opening in 2016. It will be located on land bordered by North Elm and East Lindsay streets and Summit Avenue.