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by Eric Ginsburg

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Phillips Foundation, Lorillard commit millions to performing arts center

The proposed downtown Greensboro performing arts center needs at least $20 million in private funds to become a reality, but fundraising efforts took a significant leap forward in the last week with the announcement of two pledges totaling $4.5 million.

The Phillips Foundation announced on Monday that it would commit $3.5 million to the performing arts center, according to a press release. The announcement came just a few days after Lorillard declared it would give $1 million towards the project, the Business Journal reported. The commitments are the first two private sector donations for the center to be made public “We view the Greensboro performing arts center as a once-in-a-generation type of project for this city,” Phillips Foundation Executive Director Elizabeth Phillips said. “We believe GPAC will have an enormous impact on the quality of life in Greensboro and on attracting young families to live and work here long-term.”

Phillips is organizing a group of “young adults” called “Generation GPAC” to support the project, according to the press release.

Current plans call for the performing arts center to be built at the former YWCA site on Davie Street adjacent to Festival Park and the cultural arts center. The Greensboro City Council committed $20 million to the project earlier this year, though the center will cost an estimated $60 million. The center would replace the War Memorial Auditorium, which is in serious disrepair according to Coliseum Director Matt Brown.

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