These men and women have made significant contributions in the performing arts.
Andrew Ammerman and the family of H. Max and Josephine Ammerman
The Ammermans are very generous annual supporters of Arena Stage and their assistance has led to the creation of the Arena Stage/Georgetown University Theater and Performance Studies Program Partnership.
Arsht, who made a fortune in banking, has firmly re-established Washington as her second home. Last year, the Kennedy Center announced her $5 million gift for their theater programming. For the next ten years, The Adrienne Arsht Musical Theater Fund will provide support to create and present musical theater productions at the Center. In January 2008, she made a $30 million contribution to Miami’s Performing Arts Center. She also donates generously to the Washington National Opera, Goucher College, the University of Miami, and Best Buddies.
The Venezuelan-born businesswoman and president and CEO of Strategic Investment Group is the founding chairman of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas. Her engagement with future generations, coupled with a generous financial commitment to the arts, has enabled YOA to offer world-class training to top musicians from more than 24 countries of the Americas. She also serves on the boards of the Washington National Opera and National Symphony Orchestra.
Calvin and Jane Cafritz
During the last decade, The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, the largest private, independent, local foundation focused solely on the Washington metropolitan area, has given away $169 million to organizations that focus on arts and humanities, community services, education, health, and the environment. For the last year, Jane Lipton Cafritz has served as chairman of the Washington National Opera where the foundation underwrites the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. She also serves on several nonprofit boards including the Smithsonian Institution, Blair House, and the National Symphony Orchestra.
Betty Brown Casey
At the helm of the Eugene B. Casey Foundation, Betty Brown Casey donates to a myriad of local causes including hospitals, universities, and arts organizations. She is life chairman of the Washington National Opera, a title she earned through her major gifts dating back to 1974. From production underwriting and challenge grants to supporting opening night galas and balls, Casey’s giving has been unparalleled in the company’s history.
Huda and Samia Farouki
Stalwarts of the local charity circuit, the Faroukis are generous supporters of the Arab-American Cultural Foundation, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, and Teach for America. Both serve on the Kennedy Center’s International Committee. For the 2008-2009 season, the couple made a seven-figure gift in support of the Kennedy Center’s Festival of Arab Arts and funded Arab arts presentations for five years to come, including Arabesque: Arts of other Arab World, which featured artists from all 22 of the Arab League Nations. This year, they are supporting the 2010 International VSA Festival, an international organization supporting arts and disability, which showcases works by eminent and emerging artists with disabilities.
Helen Lee Henderson
As executive director of The HRH Foundation, Henderson has been one of the Kennedy Center’s leading philanthropists since making a gift for the historic Sondheim Celebration in 2002. Subsequently, she has been a principal underwriter of many of the Center’s artistic and educational initiatives, including: the Festival of China in 2005, Arabesque: Arts of the Arab World in 2009, Arts in Crisis: A Kennedy Center Initiative in 2009-2010, the production of “Ragtime” in 2009, many productions for the “Focus on Russia” program in the 2009-2010 season, and the next season’s “maximum INDIA” festival.
Samuel And Susan Lehrman
Along with his brother Robert, Samuel Lehrman directs the Jacob and Charlotte Lehrman Foundation, whose mission is to support and enrich Jewish life in Washington, D.C., Israel, and throughout the world. Susan Lehrman has served as chairman of Washington National Opera’s Opera Ball for the past three years and has made it one of the city’s most over-the-top charity events. She completely underwrites all of the expenses, so that 100 percent of the proceeds directly benefit the cause. The Lehrmans are also involved in healthcare and education philanthropy.
The 58th richest person in the world and the 19th richest person in America, according to Forbes, the name Mars has long been synonymous with philanthropy in the Washington area. Mars serves as chairman of the Executive Committee on WNO’s Board of Trustees. The Mars Foundation endows two 4-year merit based scholarships annually for incoming freshman at the Foxcroft School and The Virginia Cretella Mars Scholarship is awarded to students with a demonstrated ability in the Literary, Visual, or Performing Arts.
All the world, or at least the Washington world, is a stage thanks to Jaylee Mead and her late husband Gilbert, philanthropic powerhouses on the performing arts scene. In addition to being the donor that made Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater possible, Jaylee Mead is also Arena’s largest annual individual donor. She and Mr. Mead gave the largest single gift ever to an American theater with their naming grant of $35 million.
Making headlines for generous donations at a time when others are waiting to give until the next fiscal year, Rubenstein, a co-founder of the Carlyle Group, became chairman of the Kennedy Center last month as well as the principal underwriter of the 2010 Very Special Arts International Festival that will take place throughout Washington in early June. And Mr. Magna Carta didn’t stop there. In late 2009 he pledged $5.8 million to Duke University for its Sanford School of Public Policy and in May donated $5 million to the Library of Congress.