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October 15, 2009

Adrienne Arsht donates $5 million to Kennedy Center to support musical theater

Adrienne Arsht, a major philanthropist whose generosity has been keenly felt in Washington and Miami, has donated $5 million to the Kennedy Center to support of musical theater programming.

In a statement released Thursday, Kennedy Center president Michael Kaiser noted Arsht's "longstanding relationship with the Kennedy Center" and said her latest gift means that the public "will be able to continue to enjoy wonderful theatrical productions for years to come." Arsht said that she had "experienced first-hand the unbelievable memories the Kennedy Center creates" and looked forward to supporting working "many more history making seasons and performances."

Arsht is a major underwriter for the Kennedy Center’s Arts in Crisis project, which was launched to help nonprofit performing arts organizations throughout the country in dealing with the pressures of the weakened economy. A $30 million donation in 2008 to a struggling arts center in South Florida proved a substantial boost; the venue is now called the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County. Other beneficiaries of Arsht's generosity include Goucher College; her $2 million gift in 2005 established the Roxana Cannon Arsht Center for Ethics and Leadership, in memory of her mother.


Posted by Tim Smith at 11:01 AM | | Comments (0)

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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