Carnegie Hall Partners Up

New York City’s Carnegie Hall and the nearby City Center concert hall announced a partnership December 2nd that will lead to a $150 million fund-raising effort to renovate City Center, and give Carnegie Hall access to dance and theatre space.

While maintaining their separate artistic programs, the two organizations plan to create joint ventures that tap Carnegie’s musical strengths and City Center’s dance, drama and musical theatre performances.

“Our mission is to bring the best of the best to Carnegie Hall – and that can include rock ‘n’ roll,” said Clive Gillinson, Carnegie’s executive and artistic director. “But we can also create some major festivals with City Center, providing fascinating artistic journeys for the public.”

City Center – which sits 150 feet away from Carnegie – must first undergo a renovation to be completed in fall 2008. Construction is expected start in the summer of 2007, Center chief Arlene Shuler said.

The first initiative of the partnership is a $150 million capital campaign to renovate the City Center facilities, using public and private funds. The main stage will be a 2,200-seat state-of-the-art hall for dance and theatre, with plenty of wing space for productions.

Programming plans are not set, but Carnegie and City Center are forming a joint board chaired by Sanford Weill, who is also Carnegie’s board chairman. City Center’s board chairman, Raymond Lamontagne, will serve as vice chairman.

Gillinson will become president of the partnership organization while continuing to lead Carnegie. Shuler will serve as executive VP while still at the helm of City Center.