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Donations can help make ETSU arts center a reality

Staff Report • Feb 18, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Fundraising to build a fine and performing arts center at East Tennessee State University got off to an excellent start last week with a $3 million donation from Jim Martin. It was just the latest gift from Martin, who continues to honor his late wife by contributing to institutions and programs she held dear.

His generosity has resulted in the Mary B. Martin School of the Arts at ETSU, and this latest donation brings his total giving to $7 million.

Now, it’s time for others to do some heavy lifting.

ETSU has been fortunate to have generous benefactors for many of its programs. People like Scott Niswonger, Bill Gatton and Jim and Sandy Powell have set the bar very high. And while most of us may not be able to write checks with as many zeroes, we are all able to give something.

Now is the time for all lovers of the arts to step up and do their part. It won’t be easy, but the worthwhile things seldom are.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam has earmarked $1.5 million for ETSU to use to begin planning for the arts center, which is projected to cost approximately $38 million. ETSU will be required to fund 25 percent of the project.

As ETSU President Brian Noland noted last week, a performing arts center is something that has been talked about for 30 years. It’s now time for action. You can help by making a donation to the project.

For information about giving to the performing arts center, call the ETSU Office of University Advancement at 439-4242.

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