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Dr. Phillips Center Unveils CNL Arts Plaza Design Renderings

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Today, the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts unveiled proposed designs for the CNL Arts Plaza. Mayor Dyer and Mayor Jacobs joined Center board, executives and special guests, James Seneff, CNL Financial Group executive chairman, and Tony Jenkins, Florida Blue Central Florida market president, in the first official presentation of the proposed designs. 

The plaza was named by CNL Financial Group for its $10 million gift. The CNL Arts Plaza is a centerpiece of the Dr. Phillips Center landscape; a lively, lush and open space fronting the Center and facing the CNL corporate office across the street.  Spanning one city block, from Orange to Magnolia Avenue, the space will accommodate up to 3,000 people and is designed to be a vibrant welcoming place for the community, featuring everything from outdoor performances to people-gathering. 

Pending additional funds, the space will be further enhanced by a marquee design element, a fountain which artistically integrates water, lighting and music effects. These finishing touches will transform the plaza into an ideal outdoor performance area, designating it as the Center’s fourth theater. Once the entire project is complete, the plaza will be surrounded by office and retail space, housing a variety of restaurants on the first level.

“CNL is pleased to partner with the Dr. Phillips Center to offer this vibrant space to the community,” said Seneff.  “The opportunity to provide a place within the performing arts center for residents, artists and visitors to interact or just relax, adds another exciting dimension to this project.” 

The center recently announced Florida Blue as the first programming partner with their support of the Florida Blue Concert Series, which will showcase community concerts in the CNL Arts Plaza for the center’s inaugural season.  “We considered this an ideal opportunity to support an initiative that will showcase a variety of arts and culture to the broader community,” Jenkins added.

Today’s event also provided residents a preview of what’s to come for the plaza, as the CNL Band and the Orlando Concert Band entertained guests. 

“The CNL Arts Plaza will be the region’s town square,” said Kathy Ramsberger, Dr. Phillips Center president.  “Whether it’s seeing a local artist or just enjoying friends, this is a limitless space designed to welcome the community, improve local business viability and bring diverse people together to celebrate, inspire and be inspired. We are truly grateful to CNL for making this project possible.”

The Dr. Phillips Center will celebrate its grand opening in fall 2014.