The Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) has received a $5 million gift from Roberta and David Elliott to endow the Festival’s Artistic Opportunity Fund (AOF). The AOF allows the festival to pursue significant artistic opportunities.
“The Artistic Opportunity Fund came into being in 2008 thanks to the combined generosity of Roberta and fellow board member Louise Gund,” OSF Artistic Director Bill Rauch said. “There is no doubt that OSF's extraordinary artistic success in the last eight years is directly related to their expansively generous vision and their faith in our company. By launching an endowment of the Artistic Opportunity Fund this year, the Elliotts are helping to ensure OSF's continued ability to innovate and move audiences in perpetuity.”
The $5 million gift, the second largest individual donation the Festival has ever received, continues the Elliotts’ long history of generous support, including gifts that were essential to the creation of the Hay-Patton Rehearsal Center and construction of the Thomas Theatre. Roberta Elliott is an emeritus member of the OSF Board of Directors, having served on the board from 2004 to 2012.
"The Artistic Opportunity Fund supports the OSF artistic team with funds to take advantage of special creative opportunities as they may arise," the Elliotts said. "We are happy to make this endowment gift that will help the Artistic Opportunity Fund continue on into the future."
Founded by Angus Bowmer in 1935 and winner of a 1983 Tony Award for outstanding achievement in regional theatre, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival presents an eight-month season of 11 plays that include works by Shakespeare as well as a mix of classics, musicals, and new works. The Festival also draws attendance of more than 400,000 to almost 800 performances every year and employs approximately 575 theatre professionals.
In 2008, OSF launched American Revolutions: the United States History Cycle, a 10-year cycle of commissioning new plays that has already resulted in several OSF commissions finding success nationwide.