Overture Center for the Arts: Local legends challenge community to support Overture, offer $200,000 match

Contacts: Robert Chappell, 608.258.4438 or 608.334.7829

Local Legends Challenge Community to Support Overture, Offer $200,000 Match

Every donation to Overture Center for the Arts between now and May 31 will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $200,000, thanks to two local families.

Joe and Mary Ellyn Sensenbrenner and Bea and Lau Christensen have challenged the community to support the nonprofit performing arts center’s community programs. Each couple will give $100,000 if the community as a whole donates $200,000 by the end of May.

“I’m proud to be a part of Overture Center,” said Joe Sensenbrenner, the former mayor of Madison and a member of Overture’s Board of Directors. “The arts can be life-changing for individuals, especially the young, and the arts can be transformative for a city. Overture was a once-in-a-lifetime gift to this community, and now this community needs to help it thrive and grow and do more good for people across the region.”

“Like any other city, Madison has its share of people in need,” said Bea Christensen. “People need food and shelter and clothes, and they deserve to participate fully in everything this community has to offer. All children and families deserve to live a full and rich life, which clearly includes experiencing and participating in the arts. I was surprised and delighted to hear how much Overture does for families in need, providing free performances and subsidized tickets, as well as transportation to bring school children to the theater. I’m proud to offer my support, and I challenge my fellow Madisonians to come through as well.”

Only monetary donations by individuals and companies will be counted toward the match. Sponsorships and in-kind donations will not.

“This community is incredibly generous, and values the arts more than any other city I’ve lived in,” said Overture Center CEO Ted DeDee. “To raise $200,000 in the next three months is a meaningful matching program, and I’m confident this community will successfully answer this type of challenge as it has before. We couldn’t be more thankful to the Sensenbrenners and the Christensens for their commitment to Overture.”

Overture Center for the Arts in Madison, Wisconsin features seven state-of-the-art performance spaces and five galleries where national and international touring artists, ten resident companies, and hundreds of local artists engage nearly half a million people in educational and artistic experiences each year.