Donation a 'programmer's dream,' says prexy

WASHINGTON — Underwriting major performances over the next decade, Virginia businesswoman and arts philanthropist Catherine B. Reynolds has donated to the Kennedy Center its largest programming-related gift ever: $10 million.

No restrictions were placed on the largesse, which will establish the Catherine B. Reynolds Series for Artistic Excellence. The inaugural perf will be a May joint appearance of the Bolshoi Ballet and Bolshoi Opera.

It is another coup for the center’s energetic new president, Michael M. Kaiser, who engineered a $50 million gift from philanthropist Alberto Vilar upon assuming his post in February. Part of that gift will fund annual appearances by the Kirov Ballet and Opera, also for 10 years.

Wealth of choices

Kennedy Center president Kaiser called the Reynolds gift a programmer’s dream, one that “gives us the opportunity to choose projects of the highest quality from a broad spectrum of art forms.” Future projects are undetermined.

It was announced during the Center’s busiest and highest-profile week of the year, featuring the Kennedy Center Honors festivities and the National Symphony Orchestra ball. The two fund-raising events drew over $2 million and $1 million, respectively. Reynolds and her husband, Wayne, co-chaired the NSO event and underwrote its costs.

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