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Key Clients of
The North Group Inc.

ASSOCIATION OF PERFORMING ARTS PRESENTERS

THE COLONIAL THEATRE

FLYNN CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS

GRAND THEATER/
ARTSBLOCK PROJECT

HUDSON OPERA HOUSE

LEAGUE OF HISTORIC AMERICAN THEATRES

MAUI ARTS & CULTURAL CENTER

MONTGOMERY COUNTY
ARTS & CULTURAL DISTRICT

RUTH ECKERD HALL/
PERFORMING ARTS CENTER FOUNDATION

WALTON ARTS CENTER

WOLF TRAP FOUNDATION
FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS


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“The Norths have another passion outside of the performing arts and restaurants: contemporary Japanese sculptural ceramics. . . . Their collection is considerable and impressive.” 

Eckerd Hall
Robert Freedman is President/CEO
of the nonprofit “Performing Arts
Center and Theater” (PACT, Inc.),
the presenting arm that operates,
manages, and maintains the
facility. 727-712-2704.
RFreedman@rutheckerdhall.net

Kathy Short Rabon is Executive
Director of the “Performing Arts
Center Foundation” (PACT
Foundation, Inc.), the fundraising
arm. 727-712-2718.
KRabon@rutheckerdhall.net

Eckerd Opening

Ruth Eckerd Hall/Performing Arts Center Foundation Inc.
Clearwater, Florida

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation designed Ruth Eckerd Hall and Richard B. Baumgardner Center for the Performing Arts opened in 1983, successfully serving the Clearwater/Tampa Bay/St. Petersburg metropolitan area for over 20 years. With an annual budget of $15 million, the full-time staff of 50+ produce over 420 events a year, attracting over 450,000 people, including over 200,000 young people and adults served by the educational program.
By 1999, the facility was bursting at the seams. Robert Freedman, Kathy Rabon, and the boards of PACT, Inc. and PACT Foundation, Inc. (see box) determined it was time to:

  • Refurbish the 2,180-seat Ruth Eckerd Hall, including new sound and lighting technology
  • Enlarge the ballroom space (Great Room) and add restrooms
  • Connect the east and west sides of the Hall under the seats and expand the lobby, restroom, and concessions areas
  • Add an Educational Institute to meet the demand for education programs and the needs of Eckerd Theatre Company (touring theater company)
  • Build a 182-seat studio/theater for programs, rehearsals, and stage productions
  • Expand the dressing room, backstage facilities, loading dock, and office spaces
  • Add a revenue-generating Atrium Lounge overlooking the East Side Café.
  • Expand the donor lounge (Dress Circle), adding a catering area and enlarging the bar
  • Enhance exterior lighting, signage, and parking

The estimated cost was over $20 million. The Center hired a well-known national fundraising firm that, after conducting a fundraising feasibility study, advised the boards they could raise only $6 million for capital purposes over the next 5 years.

2000-2001 capital campaign counsel. Halsey and Alice North were hired to strengthen the Center's ability to raise funds. They worked with Kathy Rabon and her staff to develop the campaign structure and strategies, prepare the case for support and other campaign materials, develop prospect lists, conduct prospect research interviews, and train volunteers to make effective fundraising calls. $14,108,024 came from the first 83 gifts. The Norths helped prepare successful requests for $5,000,000 from Eckerd Foundation and $1,000,000 from Kresge Foundation. The goal was increased to $28 million when costs were more than estimated. The expanded and renovated facility opened on October 29, 2003.

2005 endowment campaign feasibility study. Building on the success of the capital campaign, Kathy Rabon hired Halsey and Alice to conduct an endowment campaign feasibility study to test the possibility of raising endowment funds to support the ongoing operation of the organization.

2006 visioning. The Norths are working with the staff and board of Ruth Eckerd Hall to develop long term visioning for the organization in anticipation of the planned-for endowment campaign.

   

The North Group Inc.
http://www.northgroup.biz/
HalseyAlice@northgroup.biz

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