On heels of season completion, OSF announces $6 million ‘landmark’ contribution from four local donors
Ashland.news staff report
Oregon Shakespeare Festival has announced a $6 million collective contribution from philanthropists Louise Gund, Bertie Bialek Elliott, and Sid and Karen DeBoer.
The announcement on Thursday was welcome news for the nonprofit organization and the local community, which overcame a total $10 million deficit to complete its 2023 play season.
The recent donation also comes on the heels of a $2 million contribution from the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation.
Gund, Elliott and the DeBoers are offering their collective contribution of $5 million as “unrestricted funding,” with the remaining $1 million a “challenge match” to the board of directors and the public at large. The “challenge match” will be in place until Dec. 31.
Gund, who is an accomplished theater producer with a wide range of artistic sensibilities, is said to have inspired the giving of fellow OSF supporters and friends Elliott and the DeBoers.
Gund moved to Ashland 35 years ago from the Bay Area.
“I was amazed and enchanted by the powerful productions I saw that weekend, by the town, and by the extraordinary natural beauty of the surrounding countryside,” Gund said. “It was love at first sight.
“The arts possess an unmatched power to inspire, heal, and unite us. I believe the arts (theater in particular) are an unparalleled force for deep and important human connection. Theater can bring us together in a powerful way. Now is the moment for us all to rise together in support of this cherished company, a radiant beacon of creativity and cultural enrichment. Together we will ensure that the magic of Oregon Shakespeare Festival continues to bring us joy and shine a bright light on our common humanity.”
OSF’s Artistic Director Tim Bond, who officially came on board Sept. 1, is constantly looking ahead to the 2024 season.
“There is not a day that goes by where I don’t fantasize about the hopes and dreams I have for the future of the festival,” Bond said in a news release. “Not just in 2024, but for our 90th season in 2025 and for the next decade leading up to OSF’s centennial. The unwavering support and passion from these extraordinary donors underscores the profound impact OSF has had on the the Rogue Valley and far beyond. Their leadership and the support of so many others will make these dreams a reality.”
Bond also shared his enthusiasm for the collective contribution from what OSF describes as “beloved donors.”
“I’m immensely pleased by the momentum we’ve built over the last few months, and I’m profoundly grateful to Louise, Bertie, Sid and Karen for rallying to cement a thriving future for OSF,” Bond said in a news release. “This is the kind of healing that we need. This is what will put and keep the festival on the right track and define our legacy as we celebrate nearly a century of unparalleled and influential theater-making.”
Email Ashland.news staff reporter Holly Dillemuth at firstname.lastname@example.org.