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Garrett College Foundation officially launches Performing Arts Center endowment campaign

More than $2.2 million already raised before campaign's public launch

Photo by John Rudd

The Garrett College Foundation has officially launched a campaign to create a $2.5 million endowment to support operations of the soon-to-be-finished Performing Arts Center at Garrett College.

Tuesday morning’s announcement came during the Garrett College Foundation’s semi-annual President’s Circle, a group that includes the GCF Board of Directors and many of the Foundation’s most loyal donors. During the event, Garrett College President Richard Midcap announced that the Foundation had secured more than $2.2 million in gifts and pledges – just over 88 percent of the goal – before the campaign’s public kick-off.

“The outpouring of support for the PAC campaign is a dramatic illustration of our donors’ commitment to expanding community access to the performing arts,” said Dr. Midcap, noting Garrett County is currently the only county in the state without a performing arts center. “Our donors recognize the opportunities that will become available for arts education, a wider variety of performing arts activities, and the economic development that will come from drawing more visitors to the county.”

The $2.5 million campaign – officially titled The Campaign for Garrett: Realizing our Dream – is headed by honorary co-chairs Lon and Bart Naylor. Both brothers are widely known for their commitment to supporting the performing arts and other educational initiatives.

“Bart and Lon are the perfect people to serve as honorary co-chairs,” said Susie Crawford, chair of the Garrett College Foundation’s Board of Directors. “Their commitment to Garrett County and the arts, as well as their impressive philanthropic philosophy, are well-known throughout the county.”

The campaign coincides with the opening of the new facility, set to come on line in the spring of 2022.

The PAC is centered around the college’s old gymnasium, which is being renovated into a state-of-the-art proscenium theatre. A 16,000-square-foot addition to the theatre will feature a 2,000-square-foot conference center that can also be used as a recital hall, black box theatre, and reception venue. New educational spaces include a 16-seat piano lab – supported by the Community Trust Foundation’s Naylor Family Fund and being moved from its current on-campus space – as well as a sound and lighting booth.

Midcap noted the state and county combined to provide all of the $21 million in construction funding for the PAC. He recognized the efforts of Senator George Edwards, Delegate Wendell Beitzel and Garrett County Commissioners Paul Edwards, Jim Hinebaugh, and Larry Tichnell for their critical roles in securing construction funding.

“Without their tireless dedication to this cause, we would not be building this performing arts center,” said Midcap.

Garrett College and the Foundation have been jointly pursuing strategies that will ensure long-term operating funding for the PAC, according to GCF Executive Director Cherie Krug.

“The College has done a wonderful job building a team of founding partners – including Garrett County Government, the Garrett Lakes Arts Festival, Garrett County Public Schools, and the Garrett County Arts Council,” noted Krug. “All of the partners have signed agreements that run through 2032 committing to financial or in-kind operational support.

“The PAC campaign is meant to build on those resources to ensure its fiscal sustainability and its ability to draw high-quality performing arts to the county,” added Krug.

PAC Executive Director Mary Callis was one of the featured presenters during the President’s Circle, updating those in attendance on plans for the center’s use and highlighting the flexibility of the facility’s design. Stacy Holler, GC’s director of marketing and creative services, presented an update on the design of a donor wall that will be installed in the PAC to honor campaign donors.

Crawford said major donors who have already committed to investing in the campaign will be honored in a series of public announcements over the next several weeks. They will also be recognized during grand opening ceremonies next spring.

For additional information on the PAC campaign or on making a gift to the endowment, please contact the Garrett College Foundation Office at 301-387-3100.