Beaverton, OR. Led by the Beaverton Arts Foundation, the campaign to build the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts “The Reser” has concluded. The final push raised more than $12 million of the $52 million needed to build the center. Supporters exceeding the original fundraising goal by more than $1 million. The center is 75% finished and engineers are checking out the acoustics in its 550-seat theater with the help of local trumpet player, Justin Copeland. The Patricia Reser Center for the Arts will open in the spring of 2022.
In the video below, administrators Lani Faith and Chris Ayzoukian take you inside the building to catch a glimpse of the ongoing construction.
A bit of History: On July 17, 2018, the Beaverton Arts Foundation announced a personal pledge of $13 million to the project. With this news also came the official name of the facility, the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts. This transformative pledge from Pat Reser provided nearly one-third of the initial $48.2 million needed to build The Reser. With increased construction costs due to COVID, the goal grew by nearly $4 million to $52 million. More than 960 donors came together to help the campaign close this gap and exceed its fundraising goal by more than $1 million.
“When we officially embarked on this undertaking several years ago, I could not have imagined the incredible level of support we would receive from our community and beyond,” said Pat Reser, who serves as the chair of the campaign for The Reser. “Now, to see the campaign reach its conclusion, I’m so thankful for our volunteers, public officials, community, and our Executive Director, Lani Faith, who served as our North Star in leading our efforts to raise the private funding needed. I’m proud to see this community dream come to life, not just for the arts, but as a place to foster joy and connection for Beaverton and the region.”
Here’s some history about the fundraising efforts:
Additional lead donations include $1 million from Arlene Schnitzer and Jordan Schnitzer through The Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation, $1 million from Gene and Lindi Biggi of Beaverton Foods, $1 million from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, $750,000 from Cambia Health Solutions, $630,000 from the Washington County Visitors Association and $500,000 from Todd Baker of Hillsboro’s Baker Rock Resources.
In December of 2018, the Oregon Community Foundation awarded The Reser with a matching grant of $250,000, for new donors from Washington County and – 18 months later – the Oregon Lottery allocated $1.5 million to the project via the Cultural Advocacy Coalition. While the lottery funds were later rescinded due to complications related to the pandemic, the State reinstated the investment via House Bill 5006 and the American Rescue Plan in June of this year. This grant closed the gap on the private fundraising goal and helped cover the additional construction costs incurred due to the impact of the COVID.
Additionally, in early 2021, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the U.S., awarded The Reser a 3:1 matching grant totaling $250,000, generating $1 million for The Reser. The recognition from NEH represents the largest national gift to The Reser, as well as the first dedicated to the humanities. For a comprehensive list of supporters, see here: centerfortheartscampaign.org/supporters/.
“I’ve long been a champion for the arts because they enrich our lives and improve our communities,” said U.S. Representative of Oregon’s first district Suzanne Bonamici, who serves as co-chair of the STEAM Caucus, as well as a member of the Congressional Arts Caucus and Congressional Humanities Caucus. “The arts inspire creativity and learning, broaden our horizons, and boost our economy. The pandemic has reduced many funding sources for the arts, so I was especially thrilled to help the Beaverton Arts Foundation secure a federal grant for The Reser. The Reser will serve as a place of inspiration and opportunity for our growing community, and I applaud the efforts of the Beaverton Arts Foundation to increase access to the arts for everyone.”
The Reser launched its Fill the Seats campaign in November 2019, honoring designated $1,000 donors with a name plaque on one of the seats within the theater. The Reser sold 463 seats, raising $470,500 with only 60 remaining. In February of 2021, the campaign launched its $100K in 100 Days program to raise the last $100,000 to top off the community phase of the campaign, generating more than 400 donations, which ultimately raised nearly $650,000.
By The Numbers:
Of the funds raised in support of The Reser, there were more than 960 total donors. Businesses gave nearly $1.1 million, individuals granted nearly $5 million and $6.1 million was provided by foundations and other funders. Gifts to the campaign ranged from $2 to $1.5 million and more than $1.8 million in funds were secured from out-of-state donors, including those from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Georgia, Florida, Ohio, Montana, Kansas, Texas, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada, California and Washington. The campaign raised $12,206,975, $1,027,425 above the goal.
The Reser celebrated its groundbreaking in fall of 2019, followed by its topping out ceremony nearly a year later in the fall of 2020. Construction continued – with safety measures in place – throughout COVID, keeping the progress moving forward. In June of this year, construction reached 80 percent completion with the building estimated to be finished in fall 2021.
Nestled near The Round between SW Cedar Hills Boulevard and SW Hall Boulevard, The Reser will include a 550-seat theater, art gallery, rehearsal, workshop and meeting space, lobby, outdoor plaza and adjacent parking structure. The project’s design and construction team includes Skanska USA Building Inc., Gerding Edlen and OPSIS Architecture.
About the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts
The Patricia Reser Center for the Arts will be the first performing arts center of its kind to be built in the Portland-metro area in more than 30 years. Nestled near to The Round between SW Cedar Hills Boulevard and SW Hall Boulevard, the facility will include a 550-seat theater, art gallery, rehearsal, workshop and meeting space, lobby, outdoor plaza and adjacent parking structure. With the Beaverton Arts Foundation serving as its fundraising partner, The Reser will feature innovative offerings in the performing arts – theater, music and dance – serving as a beacon for civic engagement, creative learning and greater social cohesion. For more information, please visit: centerfortheartscampaign.org and beavertonoregon.gov/prca.