W. Scott Bailey, Reporter/Project Coordinator
Raising tens of millions of dollars in private funding support for a new arts venue isn’t easy in the best of circumstances. It’s even more daunting when the economy tanks.
The Bexar County Performing Arts Center Foundation faced such seemingly insurmountable odds in 2008, when it kicked off a multimillion-dollar campaign to help transform Municipal Auditorium into the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. Yet it has already raised more than $43 million.
“That’s more than double what we were originally asked to do,” says the foundation’s chairman, J. Bruce Bugg Jr.
The Bexar County Performing Arts Center Foundation initially committed to raising $20 million in private funding for the $203 million Tobin project. It has since increased that capital campaign goal to $54 million.
“That has nothing to do with cost overruns,” says Bugg about the steep increase in fundraising. “We as a board took it upon ourselves to increase that fundraising goal in order to fund a number of enhancements to the Tobin Center that just weren’t in the original budget.”