$ 50 million donation to speed up construction of UVA performing arts center | State and regional news


DAILY PROGRESS FILE University officials on Tuesday increased the number of students who can congregate in one location from five to ten.

By BRYAN MCKENZIE Daily Progress

$ 50 million donation from Charlottesville fine arts supporter will fund a new performing arts center at the University of Virginia, AVU president Jim Ryan said at the board meeting of school visitors on Friday.

The center is to be built in the Emmet Street-Ivy Road corridor, which is being redesigned and redeveloped by the university. The center will provide space for concerts, dancing, theater and other performances.

“From my perspective, it’s a joyful, memorable and exciting day for the arts at university and in Charlottesville,” said Jody Kielbasa, AVU vice-president of the arts and director of the Virginia Film Festival. “It’s an amazing gift. This is, to my knowledge, the largest donation by far to the arts at the University of Virginia. “

Tessa Ader, who along with her late husband, Richard, has long supported local arts, made the gift. She is an honorary member of the AVU’s Fralin Museum of Art Advisory Board and in 2020 established the Richard M. and Tessa G. Ader Endowment Fund for Music Education at the Charlottesville Symphony at the University of Virginia.

She also funded the Charlottesville Opera Artist-in-Residence Program and the Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival.

“I am delighted and touched by Tessa’s decision to help us provide a new home for the arts at AVU,” said Ryan. “Her gift, which clearly stems from a love for all forms of creativity, will provide the UVA community with new opportunities to participate in the arts.”


William E. Bennett

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