Dick DeVos Funding the Expansion for the Kennedy Center

The Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation contributed one million dollars to the expansion fund for the John F. Kennedy Arts Center. It is in the process of expanding to include additional educational and rehearsal space, three new pavilions, a pedestrian bridge, dining and office space. One of the pavilions will be on the riverfront and linked to the main buildings by the pedestrian bridge. Since 2013, a fund raising campaign has been underway. The original goal was to raise $125 million for both construction and programming initiatives. The goal had to be increased as the buildings cost also increased by $19 million.


That increase prompted the fund raising goal to be increased another $50 million. Deborah Reuter noted that the expansion will be entirely funded by the gifts of supporters of the arts. The Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation is among several supporters giving up to a million dollars. Another eight parties were named and many anonymous donors also contributed. Donations went up to $50 million from David Rubenstein, the Carlyle Group Co-Founder and chairman of the Kennedy Center’s board of trustees.


The Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation focuses on empowering organizations that support communities, education, the arts, leadership and justice. Some of the places the foundation supports include:


The West Michigan Aviation Academy – Founded in 2010 by Dick DeVos is a high school located on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. Students with an interest in interest in aviation or STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) are exposed to them first hand, plus they study English, world languages, social studies, and history. There time there is highlighted by learning the important character traits, respect, trust, and accountability. They also enjoy extracurricular activities including athletics and club events, plus they develop leadership skills and community development.


The Inner City Christian Federation – the organization has a 44 year history of providing over 500 lower to moderate income families with a path to home ownership in the Southside of Grand Rapids, Michigan. They manage 160 plus units of affordable housing in the area.


The DeVos Institute of Arts Management – Has served over 1,000 organizations from more than eighty counties, such as traditional performing and presenting organizations, museums and galleries, arts schools and libraries, and botanical gardens.


Project Clarity – It’s goal is to restore the water quality of Lake Macatawa and the Macatawa Watershed near Holland, Michigan. This area covers 500 miles of rivers, streams and ditches in approximately 175 square miles. Using a multi‑phased approach, it is establishing rain gardens, bioswales, retention ponds, storm water sediment basins and boxes.


Visit http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/about to learn more.

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