Orlando’s Phillips Center to break ground with $1 million gift

Posted on: April 30, 2010

In Thursday’s (4/29) Orlando Sentinel, Linda Shrieves writes, “A downtown fire station will be demolished today to make way for the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, a long-awaited first step delayed for months while the city cemented a financing plan. … At the demolition today, officials will announce a $1 million gift from former Disney executive Judson Green and his wife, Joyce, which comes at a critical juncture for supporters of the performing-arts center. The Greens, now full-time residents of Central Florida, are well-known supporters of the arts. In 2005, the couple—both graduates of DePauw University in Indiana—donated $15 million to an expansion of that university’s performing-arts center. … Originally, the arts center was to be paid from a mix of sources, including private donations, tourist taxes, state funds, downtown property taxes and proceeds from the sale of the land where the aging Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre and Amway Arena sit. But the recession has caused record declines in tourist-tax collections, forcing Orlando officials to come up with a Plan B that relies on downtown property taxes. … The first phase of construction—which will include the 2,700- and 300-seat theaters—is expected to be completed by 2013, [the center’s president Kathy] Ramsberger said.”

Posted April 30, 2010