Overture’s Local Legends 2017 Include Exact Sciences, Local Couples Continue Pledge of Half Million Dollars to Match Community Gifts

For immediate release: Monday, March 13, 2017
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Overture’s Local Legends 2017 Include Exact Sciences, Local Couples Continue Pledge of Half Million Dollars to Match Community Gifts

Second Year of Largest-ever Challenge Grant Will Match Donations Until June 15, up to $500,000

Madison, Wis. — Ted DeDee, President and CEO of Madison’s Overture Center for the Arts, and the Overture Center Foundation (OCF) Board of Directors, announced today the list of Overture’s Local Legends for 2017. These are local companies, couples or individuals who’ve pledged $100,000 to challenge area residents and businesses to support the arts at Overture as part of the Spring Match Campaign.

  • Exact Sciences Corporation

“Overture is a world-class facility, one of the best performing arts venues in the country, and truly makes a major impact on our community.  But it can’t survive without our community’s support,” commented Kevin Conroy, Chairman and CEO of Exact Sciences. Exact Sciences became a Local Legend this year after having long supported Overture by sponsoring its National Geographic Live! series. “Madison continues to become a more dynamic community economically, entrepreneurially, and culturally. As a cornerstone of our region, Overture helps make Madison one of the best cities in America to live, work, and start a business.”

  • Judith and Nick Topitzes

“We became a Local Legend to help increase the programming of Overture to as many people as possible in Madison and surrounding communities,” said Judith Topitzes.  She joins the Local Legends with her husband Nick, founder and former owner of pc/nametag. “The arts contribute to the culture, health and balance of individuals. Overture has contributed to a downtown that other cities can only be envious of. But most importantly, we wanted to help make Overture free of politics and open to more Madisonians and south central Wisconsin residents.”

  • Sandy and Jun Lee

“The arts are so vital for our community, and for our children,” said Sandy Lee, who, with her fellow-UW alum husband Jun, join Overture’s Local Legends this year. “By supporting Overture Center, we are helping to fuel the creativity required for our children to grow and flourish. Through Overture’s free and low-cost programming, including the OnStage Field Trip program, children have the opportunity to experience the arts first-hand.  Seeing a program and the excitement in the children’s eyes, we knew we had had invest in it.”

  • Two couples who prefer to remain anonymous

“We made the decision to give this gift in honor of Glenda Noel-Ney, Overture’s VP of Advancement, and Tim Sauers, VP of Programming and Community Engagement, for their dedication to the arts throughout their careers, and their tremendous influence on making Overture this wonderful place to be introduced to, experience and enjoy the arts,” commented the anonymous couple who donated in the names of Noel-Ney and Sauers. “It is vital to the well-being of a community to ensure the arts are accessible to as many people as possible, and Glenda and Tim work tirelessly towards this at Overture, through outreach, engagement and arts programming in diverse forms and for all ages. As we see it, they are the legends – not us.”

“The main reason we made the donation is that we were able to at this moment in our lives and we think the Overture is a beautiful space that everyone should be able to enjoy,” commented one of this year’s Local Legends couples, who will remain anonymous. “We are hoping our donation will make it possible for those that might otherwise not have the opportunity, to be able to do so.”

The campaign grew last season with last year’s five Local Legends – Jim and Sue Bakke, Diane Ballweg, Jim Imhoff and Kitty Kuhl, Jonathan and Susan Lipp and Tom and Peggy Pyle – who challenged Overture’s fundraising efforts with a $500,000 total match of individual and corporate philanthropic gifts.

Previous Years’ Local Legends:

  • 2015 – Ron and Deborah Krantz and an anonymous donor in honor of Ted & Gail DeDee
  • 2014 – Joe and Mary Ellyn Sensenbrenner and Bea and Lau Christensen
  • 2013 – MG&E Foundation, Kelly Family Foundation and Dianne Christensen

“The Local Legends program, now in its fifth year, is part of Overture’s Spring fundraising program where generous individuals, families and corporations have each pledged $100,000 as a match to contributions of any denomination from the Madison area community,” said Ted DeDee, Overture’s President and CEO. “All money raised in this Local Legends Match campaign, which runs through June 15th, supports Overture’s free and low-cost programs throughout the year. To date, twelve Local Legends have made this significant commitment. And now, five new Local Legends have just pledged their extremely powerful financial support in order that the contributions of others are doubled.”  DeDee concluded, “We couldn’t be more grateful for the meaningful gifts of our Local Legends and the resounding response of our entire community.”

To qualify for the match, gifts may be made by individuals or businesses and designated to the Overture Annual Fund or in support of a community program. Performance or program sponsorships will not be counted toward the match.

In 2012, Overture Center became a private non-profit organization, continuing its mission to engage the community in the arts and ensure access to the arts for all, regardless of their social or economic standing.

OVERTURE CENTER FOR THE ARTS in Madison, Wisconsin features seven state-of-the-art performance spaces and five galleries where national and international touring artists, ten resident companies and hundreds of local artists engage people in nearly seven hundred thousand educational and artistic experiences each year.  


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