Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts celebrates One Year Anniversary

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts Grand Opening, Orlando, Florida - 6th November 2014 (Photographer: Nigel G. Worrall)

The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts celebrated its first anniversary with a press conference today that featured a report to the community and an update on philanthropy and the progress of Phase 2.

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts Grand Opening, Orlando, Florida - 6th November 2014 (Photographer: Nigel G. Worrall)

“We had an incredible year that started with a community open house. We saw record-breaking numbers, amazing performances, and students of all ages taking class,” said Kathy Ramsberger (pictured above), president and CEO of the Dr. Phillips Center. “We have exciting things going on right now – our School of the Arts classes for spring and Broadway Master Classes are open and on sale now.  We have terrific shows on sale now – including Kristen Chenoweth who will be here for a one-of-a-kind New Year’s Eve Celebration.  And we have big plans for the future.”

Both Mayor Buddy Dyer and Mayor Teresa Jacobs spoke at the press event.  Michelle Jones, a donor of the arts center and an educator with the Dr. Phillips Center Florida Hospital School of the Arts, provided the entertainment with her group Violectric.  New philanthropic gifts were announced including Broadway Across America, which pledged $500,000 to Phase 2 and extended its Broadway contract with the Dr. Phillips Center through 2025.

Individual gifts were announced including a $1 million gift from Ford Kiene given in honor of his family — Uncle Ford M. Basel, Aunt Iris Basel, Father, Richard T. Kiene and Mother, Belinda E. Kiene.

“We hope that our family’s commitment to the arts and to Central Florida inspires others to support great art and culture in our region,” said Kiene.

In 1954, Ford M. Basel purchased City Beverages distributorship in Kent, Washington. With his wife Iris they built City Beverages.  In 1974 Kiene joined the business and in 1997, Kiene moved the business from Kent to Orlando, Florida continuing Ford Basel’s dream into the third generation with Ford’s son, Colby.

Garret Hutchens started his relationship with the Dr. Phillips Center as a member in June of 2014. His first gift to the arts center was $100,000 toward the completion of Phase 1. Hutchens was a frequent guest at many of the shows during the inaugural year and has this year chosen to name the Donors’ Room Bar with a gift of $1 million.

“The Dr. Phillips Center is a reason to be proud of our city’s culture and growth,” said Hutchens. “Having a landmark destination that celebrates the arts says so much about who we are as a city and I’m proud to support the vision.”

Harvey and Carol Massey made their first gift of $1 Million in December 2009 naming the Harvey and Carol Massey Family Stage in the Walt Disney Theater.  Carol Massey is a member of the Dr. Phillips Center Board of Directors.  Last year, the Massey family formalized the Harvey Massey Foundation with Andrea Massey-Farrell appointed president and CEO.

“As a family, we care about the arts and education,” said Andrea Massey-Farrell, “supporting the arts center is a way we serve the community by bringing arts and education to our region.”

This September, the Harvey Massey Foundation made a second gift of $1 Million to name the Harvey and Carol Massey Family Concert Stage in Steinmetz Hall.  The key component of Phase 2 is the 1,700-seat Steinmetz Hall. It will join the existing 2,700-seat Walt Disney Theater and the 300-seat Alexis & Jim Pugh Theater already in operations since the Dr. Phillips Center opened. Both existing theaters rely on amplified sound while the new theater is designed to transmit sound to all listeners without amplification.

Personal gifts totaling $500,000 were given by Valerie and Jim Shapiro, Peter S. Cahall and Mary Demetree.

Valerie and Jim Shapiro are dedicated to giving back to their adopted home of Orlando.  Along with their individual civic support, they are both active supporters of the Orlando Health Cancer Center.  In 2006, they joined a Jewish National Fund mission to Israel that turned out to be a life-altering experience.  They have been involved with the local JNF board ever since, with Valerie serving as president during another mission in 2010.In September 2014, Jim and Valerie were awarded the Tree of Life award by the Jewish National Fund.

Peter S. Cahall is the co-founder and CEO of The Newport Group.  In 1984, he co-founded Newport, creating a nationally recognized retirement services and asset management firm specializing in qualified and non-qualified retirement plans, as well as investment and fiduciary consulting services. A graduate of Rollins College in 1971, Cahall was a varsity tennis player and member of the first Rollins soccer team invited to play in the NCAA regional tournament.

Mary Demetree, a native Floridian, is the chief executive officer and owner of Demetree Real Estate Services, Inc.  As an alumna of the University of Alabama, she began her career with Demetree Builders as executive vice president and chief operating officer before buying the company and assuming her current role. Mary is an active community leader.  She serves as the chairwoman of the William C. Demetree, Jr., Foundation.

Phase 2 consists of the 1,700-seat Steinmetz Hall that will add rehearsal, classroom, office and back of house space.

The timetable calls for completing fundraising in 2016 with a projected ground breaking in spring of 2016 and opening in 2019. Construction drawings have been submitted to the City of Orlando’s permitting office.

A construction manager will be hired by mid-November and final cost estimates will be completed in February. The current projected cost of Phase 2 is $177 million and approximately $35 million is left to raise toward the completion of the project.

Sources of funding for the entire project have included: City of Orlando, Orange County Tourist Development Taxes, State of Florida, City of Winter Park and private philanthropy. More than $156 million in private philanthropy has been raised for both Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the project.

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