In 2013, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts embarked on a fundraising campaign to spruce up the facilities. Ideally, the institution aimed to raise $125M. The funds were then to be split into two portions. $100M for undertaking the planned expansion of the premises and the rest of the money to initiating programming projects at the center. Two years down the line, however, pressure from federal agency planners and the ballooned construction costs prompted the project managers to reevaluate their original estimates. In 2015, the renowned arts center announced that it had raised its fundraising target up by $50M.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts intended to set up a riverfront pavilion, extra office and dining space and an education center at the facility using the $135M raised to date. Fundraising was kicked off by the philanthropist billionaire and Carlyle Group co-owner, David Rubenstein. Rubenstein chucked an astonishing $50M to get the ball rolling, and there was no stopping this fundraising wagon. Other benevolent billionaires followed suit with large donations. Dick DeVos and the wife, Betsy through their Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation are among the highest contributors to the noble endeavor.
The ambitious project ought to culminate in the center becoming the preferred destination for artists and art enthusiasts, according to the president of the center, Deborah Rutter. Deborah expressed her gratitude for the unprecedented generosity shown by the following donors:-
- Boeing Company who donated $20M
- Stephen and Christine Schwarzman and Jackqueline Mars giving $10M
- David C. Bohnett Foundation, Centene Charitable Foundation and Robert H. Smith Foundation all gave out $5M
- Dick and Betsy DeVos, the Psalsm Foundation, United Arab Emirates and the Elaine Wynn and Anonymous Foundations each doled out $1M.
About the DeVoses
Betsy DeVos is a controversial cabinet secretary in President’s Trump’s administration. The truth about this so-called iron-lady of Washington is a mystery to many. Betsy has been married to Dick DeVos for over 30 years. Dick comes from one of the wealthiest and most influential families in Northern Michigan. Dick is the heir to a billion-dollar e-commerce Empire built by his late father, Richard Amway.
Dick DeVos rarely steps into the limelight these days. In the past, however, Dick was very active in mainstream politics. In 1996, he finished second in the closely contested Michigan gubernatorial race. DeVos is an astute business person who’s responsible for running several billion-dollar companies.
To learn more, visit http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/about.