TAMPA, FL (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Celebrating the largest individual philanthropic gift made to a cultural institution in the Tampa Bay area, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center President and CEO Judith Lisi announced a major institutional gift from the David A. Straz, Jr. Foundation.
In recognition of that gift, Lisi said that TBPAC will be renamed: ‘David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts.’
The donation will be dedicated in perpetuity to benefit the performing arts center and its programs.
“My wife, Catherine, my daughter, Keebler, and I are happy to invest in the performing arts in Tampa and to help guarantee a wonderful experience for generations to come," Straz said.
As part of a confidentiality request in the donation agreement, the amount will not be disclosed.
“David is a national philanthropist, a managing director of the Metropolitan Opera, and a wonderful supporter of the arts," Lisi said. “We are ecstatic that he believes so strongly in our mission and our organization. This generous gift will change lives not only now, but also for future generations.
“This also is a significant step toward our institutional goal of a $100 million endowment.”
Mayor Pam Iorio attended the announcement at Monday’s performing arts center board of trustees meeting.
“This is a significant milestone for our community – the largest charitable contribution to a cultural institution in Tampa by one of Tampa’s most philanthropic leaders,” Mayor Iorio said. “I thank David Straz and his wife Catherine for their generosity. They are creating an outstanding legacy of a stronger performing arts center that will continue to grow and thrive for generations to come.”
The David A. Straz Foundation was founded in 1993 for the primary purpose of supporting organizations in higher education, visual arts, civic advancement and performing arts.
A resident of Tampa, Straz is married to Catherine Louisa Lowry. Upon his graduation from Marquette University in 1965, he quickly moved into a leadership position in banking management. He built banking organizations in Wisconsin and Florida, which he sold to U.S. Bank, Bank of America and Fifth Third Bank.
There will be a transition to the new name for the new Straz Center for the Performing Arts. Collateral materials are being developed now and will be unveiled gradually.
Opening in 1987, the performing arts center consists of five theaters, three restaurants and the Patel Conservatory. the 335,000 square-foot TBPAC provides an environment for a wide variety of world-class events. It boasts one of the nation's leading Broadway series and is nationally respected for producing grand opera, as well as presenting a wide variety of concerts, performances and events.
–by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers