David M. Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlyle Group private-equity firm, pledged $10 million over five years to Washington’s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the center said in a press release.
Half of the money will be for the National Symphony Orchestra, while $1.5 million funds a nationwide arts-education program which serves 11 million students. The Kennedy Center will spend the remaining $3.5 million on productions and annual events such as festivals.
Rubenstein was named Kennedy Center chairman in May, succeeding Blackstone Group LP’s Stephen A. Schwarzman. A major patron of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in Manhattan, Rubenstein earlier this month donated $10 million to the University of Chicago Law School, for 60 scholarships.
A Kennedy Center spokesman, John Dow, said Rubenstein has given the Kennedy Center $2 million of the pledged amount.
“This gift allows us to do some of the recording and touring projects that Christoph Eschenbach would like to do,” Michael M. Kaiser, the Kennedy Center’s president, said by phone about the German music director who joins the organization this week. “We’re thrilled with a gift of this size in this economic climate.”
Rubenstein has become the public face of Carlyle, which he co-founded in 1987. This year, Forbes magazine estimated his wealth at $2.5 billion. He has also served on the boards of several nonprofits such as New York’s Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Asia Society.
As a Lincoln Center board member, he donated $10 million last year to the organization, which named an atrium near the complex after him.