Park Avenue Armory announced today that the Thompson Family Foundation has given $65 million to kick-start a programming endowment that will allow the facility to expand the range and number of groundbreaking works in the performing and visual arts it presents, as well as the scale and reach of its arts education initiatives for underserved public school students.

Broadway World reported that the gift brings the total amount donated by the family to the Armory to nearly $129 million, including seminal support beginning more than two decades ago to save the once-neglected building and revitalize it as a trailblazing nonprofit arts organization. In recognition of Wade Thompson and his family’s extraordinary vision, tenacity and generosity, the spaces within the Armory building dedicated to the institution’s arts programming will be named the Thompson Arts Center at Park Avenue Armory. At the family’s request, the Thompson Arts Center name will last for a period of 50 years.

“Wade is the reason that the Armory building was saved. He was a tireless champion of preservation with a purpose and, when he saw the Armory falling apart, he set himself the task of saving it. From the beginning, he and his family believed in the potential of the Armory to become a major international cultural enterprise unlike any that had come before-and their gifts at critical moments of the Armory’s growth reflect that shared passion,” said Park Avenue Armory President and Executive Producer Rebecca Robertson. “This support comes as we continue to expand the Armory as an ambitious, artist-centric institution presenting unconventional programming across genres.

“With this new gift, the Foundation has generously started an endowment fund which will allow the Armory to expand our work with artists in realizing their greatest visions, serve ever-broader audiences, and launch new arts and arts education initiatives. I would like to thank Wade, his wife Angela, his children Amanda and Charles, and the Thompson Foundation for their visionary leadership.”

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