Caramoor Enters Final Phase of Ambitious Capital Campaign

The 90-acre cultural center is entering the final stage of its wide-reaching Inspire capital campaign, fueled by $32 million in funds.


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Wikimedia Commons / Ser Amantio di Nicolao

Following four and a half years of internal fundraising, Katonah’s Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts is entering the final phase of its Inspire capital campaign. The campaign is aimed at improving visitor experience and  financial stability, as well as the center’s grounds, gardens, and structures. The campaign has already raised $32 million out of the $40 million it is hoping to collect in advance of Caramoor’s 75th anniversary in 2020.

“Caramoor is truly a gem — an incredibly intimate place to experience music and interact with world-class artists,” says Caramoor board chair Jim Atwood. “With the launch of this final phase of our Inspire campaign, we now embark on a new journey to further enhance the Caramoor experience.”

One side effect of the era of smart phones has been a decline in revenue among arts and cultural institutions. According to Atwood, typical year-to-year ticket revenue is roughly $4 million. And while this may seem sufficient, Caramoor’s annual operating budget is $7 million. As stated by Caramoor’s operating CEO, Jeffrey P. Hayden, “Any good, vibrant arts organization needs to have a strong endowment because ticket sales cover only 20 percent of the cost of covering an organization like Caramoor.” A healthy endowment would enable the center to explore new means of community enrichment and support larger performances.

As its second priority, the campaign aims to improve the current state of the grounds. Updates to the performance facilities have already begun, including an expansive nighttime lighting plan, additional scenic amenities to the current performance stages, and vast rehabilitation of its existing gardens. These include the Sense Circle for the visually impaired, the Sunken Garden, the Butterfly Garden, the Tapestry Hedge, and the Iris and Peony Garden. Additionally, the funds will go to further improve the center’s Italianate grounds.

 

 

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