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Detroit Opera House Project Unveiled

(CelebrityAccess News Service) – Michigan Opera Theatre founder and

General Director, Dr. David DiChiera, has unveiled plans for the final phase of the Detroit Opera House project and announced the official launch of The Crowning Achievement.

A $20 million fundraising initiative, The Crowning Achievement ensures the

completion of the Detroit Opera House, which includes renovation of its six-floor Broadway Tower to create the Ford Center for Arts and Learning, completion of decorative painting, retirement of existing debt, provision for a much needed parking structure and an endowment component. This fundraising effort is driven by a $3 million challenge grant awarded by The Kresge Foundation, which serves as a catalyst for securing major and leadership-level gifts. Ford Motor Company Fund has already committed $3 million.

"We began our quest to make the Detroit Opera House a major resource in the cultural life of our community," DiChiera began. "That journey began in 1989 when we acquired the property and started to renovate the theater. Over $24 million was raised in the first campaign to open the Detroit Opera House and position the facility as a catalyst for the renaissance of the entertainment district.

"The second capital effort, The New Century Fund Campaign, which we began in 1999 with the historic visit by the Three Tenors, raised $18 million enabling us to begin to pay down our construction debt, begin renovations of the Broadway Tower and finish the Madison Tower thereby bringing together all facets of the company under one roof resulting in a more efficient organization," he said.

"The aptly named The Crowning Achievement is the third and final phase to raise $20 million to complete what we envisioned years ago," DiChiera continued.
"With the success of The Crowning Achievement, the Detroit Opera House will become a true community resource, in our time and in the future, offering not just opera and dance on the main stage, but a place for everyone to experience the power of art, to learn something unexpected, and to express their creativity."

"As one of the few American opera companies to own and operate its performance facility, Michigan Opera Theatre is in the unique and wonderful position to control its own destiny as a leader in the business and cultural community and provide a significant source of enrichment for generations to come. The Crowning Achievement will, among many things, allow us to provide our community a comprehensive Center for Arts and Learning and provide the vital stability afforded by an endowment," he continued.

To date, Michigan Opera Theatre has raised nearly $16.2 million toward its goal of $20 million. DiChiera stated that the company plans to complete the campaign by June 1, a date that coincides with a deadline established by The Kresge Foundation. –Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner