David H. Koch Charitable Foundation Donates Lead Gift to Theater
at Lincoln Center
David and Julia Koch at the April 2009 dedication of the David H. Koch Theater at
Lincoln Center. Koch's $100 million gift will be used to renovate and create an
endowment for the elegant, world-renowned theater.
In spring 2008, David H. Koch, president of the David H. Koch Charitable Foundation, pledged $100 million to renovate the theater that is home to the New York City Ballet and the New York City Opera. The theater has been renamed the David H. Koch Theater.
"I've been going to the New York State Theater for 40 years," he said. "I can assure you, the foundation would not make a gift of this magnitude unless I was absolutely convinced that the quality of the work was world class."
Reynold Levy, president of Lincoln Center, described the pledge as "a very important statement about the importance and the future of performing arts in this country." He added, "This gift puts the performing arts in another league of fund-raising and helps to elevate our expectations and gives us all a tremendous vote of confidence."
Budgeted for $50 million and financed through a mix of public and private sources, the renovation includes new seats and carpets, an enlarged orchestra pit with a mechanical lift, and new stage lighting, audiovisual and media equipment. The remaining $50 million will go toward a second phase that could include updating the lobby, dressing rooms and other spaces, as well as strengthening the endowment.
This donation is among many from Mr. Koch and the David H. Koch Foundation that help sustain the arts, as well as support education, medical centers and cancer research.