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 Margaret Robinson, The Columbus Foundation
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Opera Columbus Launches First Columbus Performing Arts Prize Project

Opera Columbus Launches First Columbus Performing Arts Prize Project
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The first artistic project supported by the recently created Columbus Performing Arts Prize debuts this weekend. Armide, presented by Opera Columbus at the Southern Theatre downtown, promises to amaze audiences.

Worlds collide during the First Crusade when the invincible Christian knight Renaud and the Muslim warrior princess and sorceress Armide are helplessly drawn into a love affair amid a backdrop of obsession, jealousy, and magic. Desperately in love with her sworn enemy, will Armide choose vengeance or love? Performed with BalletMet 2 and the Apollo’s Fire Orchestra. Sung in French with English surtitles.

The Columbus Performing Arts Prize is designed to celebrate and support the exceptional artistic directors of our leading performing arts organizations and their aspirations for creative growth.

“The Columbus Performing Arts Prize is based on the belief that creativity blooms when artists are given the flexibility to take on ideas or projects that they believe in. We recognize that often such ideas are outside the scope of traditional budgets for organizations, and therefore require special funding to actualize,” said Douglas F. Kridler, president and CEO of The Columbus Foundation.

The recipients of the first Columbus Performing Arts Prize, announced on June 4, are:

David Brown, Founder and Creative Director, Harmony Project—$10,000 to support collaboration with BalletMet, ProMusica, and Opera Columbus for the Harmony Project concert.

David Danzmayr, Music Director, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra—$50,000 to produce a top-quality record and video recording of ProMusica Chamber Orchestra during the 2015-2016 season.

Peggy Kriha Dye, Artistic Director, Opera Columbus—$46,500 to support the set design and collaboration with BalletMet for the staging of Armide. In addition, Opera Columbus was awarded $20,000 to support the 2015 planning costs of exploring an artistic partnership with the Juilliard School.

Edwaard Liang, Artistic Director, BalletMet—$47,500 to support Edwaard Liang’s world premier choreography of a piece set to music by David Bowie and performed by ProMusica in the October 2015 presentation of Breaking Ballet.

Byron Stripling, Artistic Director, Jazz Arts Group of Columbus—$15,000 to support a special Columbus Jazz Orchestra concert called The New Jazz Era, to cover the costs of an unprecedented internet simulcast in conjunction with WOSU, music commission fees, and artist fees in this special tribute to the music of jazz great Clark Terry.

The Columbus Performing Arts Prize recipients and projects are selected by an anonymous panel made up of a subset of the arts supporters and funders of The Columbus Foundation fund from which these prizes are awarded—the Performing Arts Innovation Fund. Prizes are made “out of the blue,” without any application process, or specified or regular timing. Continuous discovery of the plans and visions of the central Ohio community’s artistic directors is part of the ongoing due diligence for selecting prize winners.

“We are fortunate to have gifted and committed artistic leaders in Columbus right now,” said George Barrett, CEO of Cardinal Health, and a co-founder of the Performing Arts Innovation Fund. “This is the time to encourage, support, and help bring to life their innovative visions. The benefits to Columbus of vibrant artistic leadership can be immense, if their work is robustly supported. That’s what The Columbus Performing Arts Prize is all about.”

The prize awards are based both on the projects themselves, as well as the artistic director’s track record of accomplishments through tenacity, imagination, and risk-taking. While celebrating and supporting the work and ideas of our community’s artistic directors, each prize awarded will be in the form of a grant to the artistic director’s organization for the specified purpose, not to any individual.

The Performing Arts Innovation Fund is a Donor Advised Fund that was created in 2015 by George Barrett, the Cardinal Health Foundation, The Columbus Foundation, and other anonymous donors. Currently, its purpose is to fund The Columbus Performing Arts Prize.

Stay connected with The Columbus Foundation for updates on projects funded by the Columbus Performing Arts Prize at columbusfoundation.org and facebook.com/TheColumbusFoundation

About The Columbus Foundation

The Columbus Foundation is the trusted philanthropic advisor® to 2,400 individuals, families, and businesses who have created charitable funds and planned gifts to make a difference in the lives of others through the most effective philanthropy possible. Serving the region for more than 70 years, The Columbus Foundation is the seventh largest community foundation in the United States. The Foundation’s online marketplace, PowerPhilanthropy® makes giving mobile, easy, and smart. Visit columbusfoundation.org to learn more.

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