A new matching fundraiser campaign for the Overture Center will bridge local philanthropists with individual donors in hopes of raising $600,000 to maintain low-cost programming.
The Kelly Family Foundation, MGE Foundation and Diane Christensen, an Overture Center Foundation Board of Directors member, plan to match individual gifts of $300,000, according to the center’s website. The campaign, called “Match to Amaze,” runs until April 30 and aims to raise $600,000 for the center.
“[The funds go] into the continuation of the low-cost programming, primarily for youth,” Bob Miller, Overture Center interim vice president of advancement, said.
He said a $10,000 gift the Overture Center received Monday was likely due to either the “email blast” or advertisements in local newspapers. The matching gift aspect of the campaigns turned the $10,000 gift into $20,000 in support for Overture, Miller said.
Miller said he is very confident the center will meet its fundraising goal. Overture’s overall 2013 fundraising goal of $2.4 million is the same goal set and reached in 2012.Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, currently serves on the Overture Center Foundation Board of Directors and expressed his support for the fundraising effort.
“If we are not successful in raising the necessary funds to keep the building open, it would be a huge, unspeakable loss to the community,” Verveer said.
He said Madison has a long, proud tradition of supporting the arts, particularly the Overture Center and its predecessor, the Madison Civic Center.
Verveer praised the Overture Center, calling it “the lifeblood of the area’s performing and visual arts.” The institution’s long-term success is dependent on its fundraising, he said.
Verveer said Overture could not live up to its mission, especially its free and reduced programming, if it was not for both private and public financial contributions.
“The two go hand in hand, and both are indispensable to our long-term success,” Verveer said.
Verveer said he was grateful for the three generous individuals and entities that stepped up to match individual gifts.
But private funding is not the only funding critical to the success of the Overture Center, he added.
“For a community of our size, it is impossible to expect an arts facility of Overture’s caliber to be supported only by private donations,” Verveer said.
The city of Madison’s budget provides necessary and critical funding to the Overture Center. Annually, the city provides almost $2 million in support to the center, Verveer said.
Miller said he understands the importance of both public and private funding. Miller, who is also the mayor of Monona, also emphasized the critical importance of city funding for the center.
Verveer said he acknowledges the city government’s contribution and involvement, but also hopes for higher levels of government to begin interacting with the center because citizens from all over the state attend Overture Center productions.
Dane County provided their first grant of $5,000 to the institution this year, Verveer said.
He added said he hopes Dane County’s involvement this year paves the way for a strong partnership between higher levels of Wisconsin government and the Overture Center.