Michael R. Bloomberg has made a $60 million gift through Bloomberg Philanthropies to a new arts center located in the mixed-use Hudson Yards area on Manhattan's Far West Side, the New York Times reports.
The gift in support of the Shed, as the center will be known, is in addition to a previously undisclosed gift of $15 million from the former New York City mayor and brings to $421 million the total raised by the center toward its $500 million capital campaign goal — an amount that includes a $75 million appropriation from the city in 2013, at the end of Bloomberg's third term as mayor. Other donors to the center include Related Companies chair Stephen M. Ross and media mogul Barry Diller. Scheduled to open in 2019, the eight-level building will have a movable shell that can be expanded or retracted to accommodate different types of events, including concerts, art exhibitions, music performances, and other cultural activities.
Bloomberg's personal and public support, the Times notes, has catapulted the Shed's fundraising efforts ahead of those of other major cultural institutions in the city, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art's $600 million campaign for a new modern and contemporary art wing, the New York Philharmonic's $500 million renovation of David Geffen Hall, and the $240 million campaign for a new performing arts center at the World Trade Center. In contrast with Bloomberg, who made support of the arts a cornerstone of his mayoralty and is now focusing his philanthropic support on a single major Manhattan institution, the city's current mayor, Bill de Blasio, is working to address equity issues in the city's support for the arts and plans to allocate more of the city's arts budget to smaller groups in underserved parts of other boroughs.
"I've always believed the arts have a unique ability to benefit cities by attracting creative individuals of every kind, strengthening communities, and driving economic growth," said Bloomberg in a statement. "The Shed will help New York achieve all three goals."