A one-of-a-kind night

Our annual Donor celebration gives us a chance to say “thank you”

A one-of-a-kind night

Every day we’re grateful for our Donors and all they’ve contributed to make the arts center—and all we do—possible. Once a year, we gather together to celebrate those contributions with an amazing night and totally unique performance. As Chuck Steinmetz, co-chair of the board, said, “They told us ‘you’ll never get this off the ground’—and here we are!”

The night started with a reception in Della Phillips Grand Lobby, where Donors and their guests enjoyed drinks and snacked on delicious sushi and sliders. At 7:30 the chimes sounded and we headed to Walt Disney Theater, where an intimate cabaret setting invited Donors to sit right on the stage with award-winning actress and singer Vanessa Williams.

Before the performance, we found inspiration from the words of Kathy Ramsberger, president & CEO of Dr. Phillips Center; Jim Pugh, chairman of the board; and Chuck Steinmetz, co-chair. They reported that in the 2016/2017 season:

  • We hosted 346 shows from Broadway concerts and comedy, to family shows and multi-cultural acts
  • We welcomed 358,000 guests to the arts center
  • Our education programs impacted more than 226,000 students and we provided $82,000 in scholarships
  • Our Applause Awards engaged thousands of high school students from across the region in musical theater production instruction and performance review
  • This past year, two local students competed at the national level and won the prestigious Jimmy Awards in New York City
  • Our other signature programs—Docs & Dellas and Teen Ambassadors—continue to engage young people in musical theater work and community outreach
  • Through Dr. Phillips Center Florida Hospital School of the Arts, we delivered even more innovative arts and wellness programs to participants that include the aging population and people with autism
  • We formed the 19-member Dr. Phillips Center Jazz Orchestra and a new jazz education initiative called 6th and Jazz
  • To top it off, we broke ground on Steinmetz Hall and The Green Room and we’re 98% to our $14 million goal

After the exciting news of our accomplishments together and a strong vision for our future, Vanessa Williams took the stage with her incredible band of gifted singers and musicians for an intimate, hour-long concert, featuring her signature pop hits, Broadway songs and the crowd favorite, “Colors of the Wind.”

After this breathtaking performance, guests returned to the lobby for truffles, champagne and coffee, capping off a truly great night of celebrating our Donors whose support and love for the arts continue to transform our community.


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Special thanks to our in-house catering partner Spectra.

Let’s complete the arts center together.

The opening of the first phase of the Dr. Phillips Center was the culmination of decades of dreaming, planning and hard work. Phase 2 fulfils the vision and the commitment of every person who contributed.

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