Performance Beyond Campaign



Jefferson Center’s Performance Beyond Campaign has raised 
$3 million to meet acute needs plus leads to an additional amount of over $2 million of support that will strengthen and enhance vital community services throughout the region.

“Our staff, the non-profit tenants that call Jefferson Center home, and especially those individuals impacted daily by our arts education programs are grateful for the outpouring of support this community has shown,” said Jefferson Center Executive Director, Cyrus Pace.

As a historic cultural gathering place, Jefferson Center has led the place making movement in Virginia’s Blue Ridge for decades. From the laying of its foundation as Roanoke’s Jefferson High School in the 1920s, to the establishment of the Jefferson Center in 1989, the historic facility is well known as a central gathering place to renew old relationships and ignite new partnerships.

“The Performance Beyond Campaign was in no small way focused on relationship building,” remarked Campaign Chair, Susan Frantz. “There were acute facility needs that had to be met, but it’s the opportunities this campaign provided all of us to go beyond the stage and beyond the facility that will have the most lasting impact.”



Maintaining a historic facility is a privilege that comes with sacrifice. Jefferson Center is dedicated to ensuring its programs continue to resonate throughout the diverse communities it serves. Addressing the acute capital needs of the facility was vital to ensuring the longevity of that cherished mission.





To date, the Performance Beyond Campaign has yielded measurable community impact. Campaign funding has allowed Jefferson Center to:

  • Renew public and performance space, thereby increasing the marketability of Jefferson Center as a preferred venue for events and community gatherings.
  • Improve guest experience and ensure facilities continue to be competitive venues for local and nationally recognized performers.
  • Install new energy efficient systems, reducing operating and maintenance costs.
  • Expand its reach and menu of educational offerings through on-site and mobile Music Lab programming. Establish income streams that allow the Center to explore opportunities for growth and support future maintenance.
  • Continue to provide inspirational performances, impactful arts-based mentorships and inspiring education programs.




Jefferson Center raised $3 million to meet its acute needs through support from major individual donors, The City of Roanoke, as well as corporate and foundation gifts from notable organizations that include The Cabell Foundation, The Beirne Carter Foundation, The Sam and Marion Golden Helping Hand Foundation, Boxley, Norfolk Southern, and Carilion Clinic.

Funds were also committed beyond the original goal through planned gifts and new support for programming and education services, pushing the total to over $5 million.

Additionally, a unique gift from Woods Rogers underwrote a two-year grant writer position that helped raise more than $300,000 to assist in building the resources necessary for long-term sustainability of Jefferson Center facilities and cultural services.

“We believe Jefferson Center provides the Roanoke Valley with world-class music performances for adults and families, as well as important music education programs for local youth,” said Woods Rogers’ President, Dan Summerlin. “For that reason and more, we signed on to underwrite the grant position and as the campaign reaches its goal, we’re delighted our supporting role helped the Jefferson Center succeed.” There is more to do. Jefferson Center has the opportunity to pursue a plan to achieve sustainability through a shift in fundraising focus to ensure programs are supported long-term through a $1 million facilities and equipment fund endowment. “The endowment enables us to ensure sustainability and growth by retaining the needed funding to offset costs associated with annual capital needs, future replacements, repairs, and improvements,” Pace remarked.

Special Thanks to:






“Jefferson Center is known for creating innovative partnerships. It’s those partnerships that saved this historic building originally and today those ongoing collaborations with our neighbors, community programs, and internationally renowned artists have resulted in thousands of meaningful experiences” said Jefferson Center Director of Development, Amy Milberger.



The future experiences of hundreds of thousands of guests, audience members, and the organizations that call Jefferson Center home all depend on the sustainability of community-wide solutions to meet these needs. Individuals and organizations interested in learning more about Jefferson Center are invited to contact Amy Milberger at 540-685-2312 or via email at amilberger[at]jeffcenter[dot]org.