One of the many good things about GSO's new downtown performing arts center is the amount of private funding it has attracted. The project simply would not have happened without that $35 million investment.
And there's more good news in the details of the private funding: A lot of the money is coming from the quick instead of the dead.
Greensboro has been fortunate to enjoy the strong support of local foundations during a time when our economic fortunes were eroded by globalization, automation, corporate consolidation, and financial meltdown. Those foundations, created with industrial-age fortunes, helped immensely during some fallow years, and they're represented among the donors to the PAC.
But look closely: The two lead gifts, comprising more than 1/3 of the amount pledged, come from living people (Steven Tanger and the Kaplan family, the latter through a foundation). A third big gift comes from the Phillips Foundation, a new player on the scene.
The spirit of philanthropy is alive in Greensboro, and it's backed up with fresh resources.
And because of it, we're going to get a great new facility. Our downtown, which has made enormous progress in the ten years since I wrote this column, is about to get better, with the prospect of the mixed-use campus at South Elm and Lee on the horizon.
There's a lot of work left to do, and we need a few breaks to go our way.
Tonight, though, if the City Council votes as expected, we will have something to celebrate.