$1 million challenge gift announced for IRT’s Front and Center campaign
To extend the impact of all donations, community leaders pledge additional gift
Indianapolis, Ind.—In February 2019, the Indiana Repertory Theatre publicly announced its $18.5 million Front and Center capital campaign to raise funds for the Theatre’s immediate needs and sustainability. The IRT has raised over $17.9 million. To help lift the IRT to surpass this goal, Honorary Campaign Co-chairs Sarah and John Lechleiter have presented a challenge gift. If the campaign reaches $19 million, the Lechleiters will donate an additional $1 million dollars, topping the campaign at an exciting $20 million and extending the value of each donation given so far to Front and Center.
“We are excited by the impact this challenge gift from Sarah and John Lechleiter will have on the work of the IRT, and we are grateful for their leadership,” Jennifer C. Turner, Director of Development said. “When we began planning the Front and Center Campaign the IRT identified $24 million in current and future sustainability needs and this challenge gift will help the IRT work towards meeting those priorities. We hope that the community will join in supporting the IRT’s Front and Center Campaign so we can reach $19 million and achieve the additional $1 million gift.”
For nearly 50 years, the IRT has served the state of Indiana, welcoming nearly five million people through its doors to entertain, educate, and enlighten. Campaign contributions will allow the IRT to further invest in the community by using professional theatre to make Indianapolis a more vibrant place for cultural expression, economic vitality and an informed, engaged citizenry.
Focused on innovation, efficiency, education and sustainability, the key areas of investment include deepening IRT’s commitment to new work and multigenerational work; outfitting the performance spaces and artisan shops with state-of-the-art technologies; maintaining the nearly 100-year-old historic building; and growing the IRT’s endowment from $12 million to $24 million to ensure the IRT will be producing impactful theatre generation after generation.
Thanks to a major campaign gift from the Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, the IRT revealed the completely remodeled Upperstage Lobby and Cabaret Lobby earlier this season. Other work that the campaign has already supported include the addition of lighting, projection and sound technologies, and new safety features for both staff and audiences.
“A campaign of this scope has not been done by the IRT in 20 years,” IRT’s Managing Director Suzanne Sweeney said. “As Indiana’s largest professional theatre, the IRT values its role as a community leader, educator and thought-provoking entertainer. We know the impact from Front and Center will strengthen the institution for years to come.”
The IRT extends a special thank you to Lilly Endowment, Inc., Sarah and John Lechleiter, Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Foundation, and Rollie and Cheri Dick for their lead gifts of $1 million and above, as well as every donor who has helped us reach this level of success with the Front and Center Campaign.
To help the IRT reach their campaign goal and ensure the Theatre is front and center in the future of Indianapolis, gifts can be made online or by contacting the IRT Development team.
For more information, contact Kerry Barmann, Marketing Communications Manager, at email@example.com or 317.916.4824.
ABOUT THE IRT
Founded in 1971, the Indiana Repertory Theatre (IRT) is the largest professional not-for-profit theatre in the state and one of the leading regional theatres in the country. The mission of the Indiana Repertory Theatre is to produce top-quality, professional theatre and related activities, providing experiences that will engage, surprise, challenge, and entertain people throughout their lifetimes, helping us build a vital and vibrant community.
The IRT produces top-quality, professional theatre that engages, surprises, challenges and entertains people throughout their lifetimes, helping to build a vital and vibrant community.
Marketing Communications Manager
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