Overture Announces Major Donations

Posted Monday, February 27, 2012 --- 3:45 p.m.

Press Release from the Overture Center:

Madison Gas and Electric Foundation and Dianne Christensen today announced major gifts to support Overture Center.

The MG&E Foundation has pledged $250,000 over five years to help support community programs. It has also pledged $100,000 this year in a matching grant, meaning it will match any other private donations up to $100,000. Christensen pledged $250,000, also in the form of a matching grant.

“Every dollar donated from now through June means two dollars to Overture Center,” said incoming Overture President and CEO Ted DeDee. “A community resource like Overture can only survive and thrive with the support of its community. We couldn’t be more grateful to Dianne and the MG&E Foundation for their incredible generosity. Their donations will help sustain our seventeen community and educational programs. I thank them also for turning the challenge over to the people of this community. Now, Madison, it’s your turn. Every dollar you offer in support of those free and low-cost community and education programs is doubled. If you’ve been concerned about the financial future of Overture, rest assured the future is more secure with these programs that match anyone’s gift. Now is definitely the time to give.”

“As much as we recognize what a great gift Overture is to the community, it is underappreciated for what it does in addition to being a world class arts venue,” said Gary J. Wolter, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of MG&E. “Overture has been the catalyst for much of the recent vibrancy of downtown, including the growth in housing, restaurants and activity generally as well as the overall increase in the tax base. Since it opened Overture has hosted over twice as many low cost or no cost performances as ticketed performances and about half of its attendance has been for these events, including nearly 300,000 school children attending performances during the school day. This incredible gift from Jerry Frautschi and Pleasant Rowland is a regional asset that serves a large part of south central Wisconsin, drawing over half of its customers from more than 10 miles away. It helps attract and retain talented individuals to our community.”

“At first, I had every intention of remaining anonymous,” said Christensen. “But I would like to serve as an example. I’m not a corporation, or a government agency. I just love Madison, and love the arts, and think everyone deserves the chance to experience those life-changing artistic moments. Overture is a treasure our community needs to support. I want to provide an incentive for everyone to do that. And I’m sure Madison will rise to the challenge.”

These latest pledges push the year’s fundraising total past $1.6 million. The goal for the fiscal year, which ends June 30, is $2.4 million.

Anyone who would like to make a donation to be matched may visit overturecenter.com/contribute or call Overture Center Vice President of Advancement Janet Piraino at 608.258.4157.

Overture Center Foundation assumed operation of Overture Center on Jan. 1, 2012.

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