Saratoga Performing Arts Center is embarking on a $5 million capital campaign its board of directors announced in May.
The board also elected two new members, Sonny Bonacio and Richard Higgins, both residents of Saratoga Springs. Leaders in their professions and in the Capital Region community, Bonacio and Higgins will fill vacancies created by outgoing directors Ed Mitzen and Nancy Toohey. Both served SPAC for nine seasons.
SPAC President and Executive Director Marcia J. White said the arts center is launching the public phase of its inaugural 50th anniversary capital campaign to raise funds needed to support SPAC’s future.
Noting that the “next 50 years are as important as SPAC’s founding 50 years,” White said over $4 million of the $5 million target has already been raised during the campaign’s silent phase. The goal during this next public phase will be to meet or exceed the fundraising target of $1 million in order to reach at least $5 million.
“In this milestone 50th anniversary season, we pay tribute to SPAC’s founders who achieved a goal of monumental proportions when they created SPAC,” said White. “Their vision was extraordinary and powerful. It motivated them to push past innumerable obstacles and financial hurdles to create a magnificent, open-air venue in the heart of the Saratoga Spa State Park. Without them, we wouldn’t be here today.”
“However, SPAC’s story and its financial needs are ongoing. Keeping SPAC strong and growing over the next five decades depends on a new generation of founders–our founders of the future,” White said.
She noted that funding for nonprofit performing arts centers is increasingly competitive and that ticket sales from classical programs cover only 40 percent of expenses. Each performance of the New York City Ballet and The Philadelphia Orchestra costs approximately $180,000 to present.
A total of 57 donors, including 100 percent board participation, had contributed over $4 million to the campaign at varying levels by mid-May, including a $1 million gift from an anonymous donor, she said. Donors have the option of directing a gift to one of three categories: programming, capital improvements or SPAC’s endowment fund. Donors can also choose not to restrict their gift to one area, and instead allow SPAC to direct their gift to the area of greatest need.