New York University has announced a $10 million gift from philanthropist Iris Cantor to support construction of a professional proscenium theater.
To be named the Iris Cantor Theater, the performance space, part of a planned multi-use Tisch School of the Arts building on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village, will incorporate state-of-the-art technologies, classrooms, and teaching spaces, serving students at Tisch as well as the Steinhardt School's Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions. Proscenium theaters are the standard in the professional theater world, and the new space will give students in NYU's performing arts programs a place where they can learn their craft in a setting with the same standards as working professional theaters.
Cantor serves as head of the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Foundation, which has given hundreds of millions of dollars to museums and universities since 1978. A member of the Tisch School's dean's council, she also is a strong supporter of medical causes and institutions and through the foundation has supported a number of programs and facilities devoted to women's health. She received the National Medal of Arts from President Clinton in 1995 and was awarded the rank of Chevalier in the French National Order of the Legion of Honour in 2000.
"We are so grateful to Iris Cantor. For decades, she has earned a reputation not only for her generosity, but also for her civic and artistic leadership, transforming medical, cultural, and educational institutions throughout New York City and the world and encouraging others to do the same. This gift goes right to the heart of what we most needed as a premiere arts education institution — space for student performances," said Tisch School dean Allyson Green. "She has graciously chosen to support us over the years through the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Film Center and through student scholarships. Now this new Iris Cantor gift ensures that Tisch's next half century will be every bit as glorious as its past fifty years."