Christensen emphasized how Overture Center's staff, volunteers and programming enrich people's lives.
Three local philanthropists gathered at Overture Center Wednesday to announce a new fundraising initiative for the downtown arts venue. If all goes according to plan, it would bring in at least $600,000.
The initiative calls for individual donors to contribute $300,000 between now and April 30. Every dollar will be matched by a group made up of the Kelly Family Foundation, the MGE Foundation and Overture Center board member Dianne Christensen, until the $600,000 goal is reached. Sponsorships and corporate donations will not count toward this goal.
Money raised will go toward the venue's general operations costs, according to Overture Center spokesperson Robert Chappell. [Editor's note: Isthmus associate publisher Linda Baldwin is a member of Overture Center Foundation's board of directors.]
Terry Kelly of the Kelly Family Foundation, Gary Wolter, chairman, president and CEO of Madison Gas and Electric, and Christensen unveiled the initiative at a press event.
In a news release, Christensen emphasized how Overture Center's staff, volunteers and programming enrich people's lives.
During the live announcement, Kelly added that the challenge is designed for the entire community.
"I think [it] values its creativity, its children, its families, and has come through before to support Overture and the arts throughout our community," Kelly said of the Madison area.
The structure of the fundraising challenge is similar to a program from last year, when the Overture Center became a private nonprofit. The benchmark was $350,000 but had no deadline, unlike this year's initiative, according Chappell. Christensen and the MGE Foundation teamed up to match every dollar donated, and the goal was eventually achieved.
"We felt that that type of challenge program would be very worthwhile to continue again this year," Overture Center CEO Ted DeDee said.
Chappell says the fundraising goal for all of 2013 is $2.4 million, the same goal Overture set and met last year.
DeDee is optimistic that Overture will hit the target in 2013 as well.
"This community has come through before, and I think it will again," he said in the press release.