$20 Million Donation to Dance at the Music Center
Kaufman said she chose to support the program instead of donating money to a single dance company partly because of the economic fragility of many dance institutions -- one exception being the well-established Ailey company, whose 50th anniversary tour is bringing it to the Music Center for five days beginning Wednesday. (See accompanying story.) But the main reason for her donation, she said, was that she wanted to do "something for this city."
"It's the perfect time," Kaufman said, "because everyone is starting to get into the doldrums. They're not spending money, not doing this, not doing that. What this does is, we can have music on the Music Center courtyard, we can have little bands and people learning to dance. . . . Everyone is happy dancing."
In November, the Music Center announced that it would have to cancel the scheduled June 26-28 performances of the Nederlands Dance Theater I, part of the current Music Center dance season, because of a lack of funds.
Kaufman added that she hoped the endowment would generate funds to expand the dance series' educational programs, which already include a collaboration with the Ailey company, known as AileyCamp at the Music Center, funded by the Glorya Kaufman Dance Foundation.
The Ailey company has maintained a continuing relationship with the Music Center in recent years, appearing at the Chandler pavilion every other year.
"Her magnificent new gift symbolizes the importance of dance not only in Los Angeles but throughout the United States and the world," Ailey artistic director Judith Jamison said. "And it will bring the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater to center stage at the Music Center for many years to come."
Rountree said Kaufman's gift is the largest single donation to the Music Center with the exception of major gifts from the late Lillian Disney, Walt Disney's widow, who launched the construction of the $274.5-million Walt Disney Concert Hall with a $50-million gift.