In Monday’s (11/16) St. Petersburg Times (Florida), John Fleming writes, “Thanks to what was billed as the largest individual philanthropic gift made to a cultural institution in the bay area, the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center will be renamed the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. ‘This is a defining moment for the performing arts center,’ Martin L. Silbiger, chairman of the board of trustees of the center, said Monday afternoon as trustees, staff members of the center and assorted politicians gathered in the lobby of Morsani Hall with flutes of champagne. The amount of the gift from the foundation of Straz, a Tampa financier, wasn’t announced, but it could be as much as $25 million. … Straz, 67, is a native of Milwaukee and resident of Tampa since 1980. … The performing arts center opened in 1987 by the Hillsborough River on land donated by the city. Its construction cost $57 million, financed by private contributions and municipal bonds. The complex started out with three theaters and has grown to include two more and the Patel Conservatory.” The center also serves as the primary performance venue for the Florida Orchestra.
Posted November 18, 2009