Steve Martin Carol Mann Mary Short Martin Short Eileen LaMarca Steve Martin Carol Mann Mary Short Martin Short Eileen LaMarca

It was an evening to remember for guests attending the Broward Performing Arts Foundation’s Annual Celebration which raised more than $500,000 for the award-winning education and enrichment programs at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.

The evening began with a cocktail reception in the lobbies of the Amaturo Theater, followed by an elegant dinner inside the theater which had been transformed into a tiered dinner club seating 350. After dinner, guests moved into the Au-Rene Theater to watch the hilarious duo of Steve Martin and Martin Short perform stand-up comedy, share behind-the-scenes scoops about their lives in show business and thoroughly entertain a packed and enthusiastic house. Following the performance, the festivities continued at a post-show VIP party in the Huizenga Pavilion. 

Foundation President Lisa Kitei welcomed the evening’s guests and thanked the Center’s leadership for providing unwavering support for the Broward Center’s initiatives. She then thanked the underwriters of the evening’s program. “Your hard work and generous support have made this the most successful event to date,” said Kitei. “You allow us to sustain and expand the arts-in-education programs that have become the hallmark of the Broward Center’s service to the community.”

Kelley Shanley, President and CEO of the Broward Center, spoke of the Center’s impact over the past year. “While the buzz these days may be about the arrival of Hamilton next season, this past season has been filled with memorable moments.  On any given night here, the Center is bursting with activity. We have great performances on all of our stages, elegant events in the Huizenga Pavilion and hundreds of students discovering their voice in the Rose Miniaci Arts Education Center,” said Shanley. “We’ve continued to integrate arts with education in many creative ways, reached more than 130,000 students and hosted more than 700,000 visitors, while maintaining our ranking in the top 10 theaters in the United States.”

Robert Lochrie, Chair of the Broward Performing Arts Foundation, then spoke of plans for the renewal of Parker Playhouse. The Parker, which has been under Broward Center management for the past 12 years, is in need of significant renovations and the Broward Performing Arts Foundation is launching a campaign to renew and restore this heritage theater as a venue of distinction in South Florida. Lochrie recognized the City of Fort Lauderdale’s commitment of more than $6 million toward the project and announced lead gifts from S. Donald Sussman, Micki Peck and the Peck Foundation and the Henry E. Haller, Jr. Foundation.   

The Presenting Sponsor for the Annual Celebration was the Mary Jane Harlow Charitable Trust, Mary Short-President. Gold Underwriters were Beverly and Joel Altman, AutoNation, Daniel Baker and Gladys Taggart, Linda Haller, Hudson Family Foundation, Carol and Steve Kalagher, Michelle Howland and S. Donald Sussman, Lorraine Thomas and Richard and Christine Welch. Silver Underwriters were BBX Capital, Robert J. and Christina Brinkman, Ann M. Burris, Greenspoon Marder, Raymond C. Griffis, Jr. and Mark R. Tews, Robert Harrigan and Cindy Lane, Huizenga Family, Ingham Family, Barbara and Michael Landry, Litowitz Foundation, Lee M. Mandel, MD, FACS, Marie Morris, Northern Trust, Laura and Charles Palmer, PNC, Salah Foundation, Stiles Corporation, Linda and Douglas Von Allmen, Deborah and Gary Wendt, Weston Nissan Volvo and Linda and Mark Wilford. Program Underwriter was Starmark; Spirits Underwriter was Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of Florida; Invitation Underwriter was Southeastern Printing; and Gift Underwriter was Neiman Marcus, Fort Lauderdale.

For more than 25 years, the Broward Performing Arts Foundation has been instrumental in providing support for the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. The Foundation was established in 1985 to deliver the required private funding to build the Center and create an endowment to sustain its operations.  Over the years, the Foundation has successfully raised funds to support the Broward Center’s innovative and diverse programming, arts-in-education initiatives, community engagement activities and capital projects. Most recently, the Foundation raised $60 million to complete the Encore! capital campaign to renovate, renew and revitalize the Broward Center.

For more information about the Broward Performing Arts Foundation, call 954-468-3284 or email

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