On Friday, The Muny celebrated the successful completion of its Second Century Capital Campaign, raising over $100 million securing the future of the historic theatre in Forest Park. A lively garden party welcomed invited guests to the new donor plaza and dedication of the donor wall commemorating the contributions of the community. Last November, Steward Family Foundation and The Centene Charitable Foundation provided the lead gifts from the closing group of donors.
“The Muny is a cultural pillar in this community—serving as a home for celebration, entertainment, commonality and opportunity. The team boldly embarked on a campaign to ensure its future for generations with the faith that realizing this goal would be possible. Steward Family Foundation is proud to share our blessing and bring to fruition all that the future of The Muny promises,” said David Steward, Founder and Chairman of World Wide Technology.”
“The realization of this campaign goal guarantees that the tradition of musical theatre for and by the people of St. Louis will remain for generations yet to be born. It allows us to continue to evolve both our physical campus and the scope of opportunity and experience we provide,” said Muny President & CEO Kwofe Coleman. “I am immensely grateful to everyone whose work and leadership made this possible and to the generous donors who have made our future a reality. On behalf of The Muny, thank you.
“This is a historic and monumental accomplishment for this theatre and our community,” said Muny Artistic Director and Executive Producer Mike Isaacson. “The $100 Million goal – dream, really – was wildly ambitious and unprecedented. Because of the hard work, faith and generosity of so many, The Muny can continue to be “Alone In Its Greatness.”
“Reaching our $100 million goal was extremely important to me. Knowing that the final $10 million included gifts to honor my retirement was more than heartwarming. I’m proud, not only of the work we did but also of what this campaign has done and will make possible for The Muny for years to come.” said Muny President Emeritus Denny Reagan.
“Throughout this campaign, we have seen incredible generosity on full display and this successful final push to the goal was a remarkable testament of our community’s love for the theatre’s history and an investment in its future.” said Board and Campaign Chair Jim Turley. “It was also important to all of us that we completed this campaign in time to honor the unbelievable amount of work Denny put into the campaign and to recognize the legacy of excellence and stability he established.”
In addition to Steward Family Foundation and The Centene Charitable Foundation, the final group of gifts included support from the Bardol Chervitz Families, the Coleman Family, Donald Fassold, the Finerty Family Foundation, David Hogan, Mike Isaacson & Joe Ortmeyer, the Johnston Family Fund, Tim & Elizabeth Kertz, Ned & Sally Lemkemeier, Mr. & Mrs. William Scheffel and Mary & Joseph Stieven.
Launched in 2018 during The Muny’s centennial season, the Second Century Capital Campaign was a $100 million fundraising effort to fund major capital improvements including a complete rebuild of the Muny stage, the support, maintenance and upkeep of its 11.5-acre campus, and to build the theatre’s endowment, which supports The Muny’s ever-growing education and outreach programs. The endowment not only ensures a future of financial accessibility for The Muny’s community programs but also allows the outdoor theatre to respond to unforeseen events.
Transformational leadership gifts of $20 million made by Mr. & Mrs. James S. McDonnell III, and the Enterprise Holdings Foundation and the Taylor & Kindle families top an extensive list of supporters including the closing group announced above.
Lynn Venhaus has had a continuous byline in St. Louis metro region publications since 1978. She is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic, currently reviews films for Webster-Kirkwood Times and KTRS Radio, covers entertainment for PopLifeSTL.com and co-hosts podcast PopLifeSTL.com…Presents, and writes features and news for Belleville News-Democrat and contributes to other publications. She is a member of CCA, AWFJ and St. Louis Film Critics Association. She is a founding member of the St. Louis Theater Circle.