Center for the Performing Arts seeks corporate naming partner

The Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel is seeking its first corporate naming partner as it celebrates its 10-year anniversary.

Center officials made the announcement Friday morning. They declined to say how much money they are seeking for the naming rights.

The company’s name would be added to (or could change) the name of the center, which encompasses the Palladium, The Tarkington and The Studio Theater, all at 1 Center Green in Carmel’s central core.

The move would create a new funding stream for the center, which partially funded by the city of Carmel. Officials say more funding would allow the center to enhance educational programming and build its endowment, helping to sustain the arts performance space into the future.

The center is looking for the “right partner,” a company that has a shared vision of advancing the arts and educational programming, unifying the community and extending the center’s impact.

The naming rights campaign comes after the center’s staff and board of directors undertook a strategic planning process and asked Chicago-based IEG, a leading sponsorship consultancy, to conduct an independent analysis of the naming assets to help guide the center.

IEG’s analysis involved a review of multiple sectors, brands, opportunities and sponsorship vehicles across the country. Peter Laatz, global managing director of IEG, called the move to offer naming rights an “innovative” one.

“The performing arts is an area where we see companies wanting to invest as they look to diversify beyond sports and become a more engaged partner in a thriving community,” Laatz said in written comments. “Just a handful of other performing arts centers of this caliber in the U.S. have a dedicated corporate naming partner, so this really speaks to the center’s partnership acumen and vision.”

In addition to managing the arts campus, the center, a not-for profit, also provides rent-free space, ticketing, ushers, security and support services to six independent resident companies, including Actors Theatre of Indiana, Carmel Symphony Orchestra and Civic Theatre.

Performances, classes and other arts-related activities at the center now draw more than 300,000 patrons each year. Since opening, it has attracted nearly 900,000 ticketed patrons from all 92 Indiana counties, all 50 states and 25 nations.

“We’ve experienced an incredible first 10 years as a nonprofit organization and have never been in a better position to offer this type of value in a corporate partnership,” Jeffrey C. McDermott, President and CEO of the center, said in a written statement. “The organization is on solid footing with a world-class team, and the next step is to seek a corporate partner with a shared mission of supporting the arts, culture and education, and the ability to help us extend the reach of the important work we do. It is our responsibility to diversify our base of support as much as possible.”

The center’s own programming includes the annual Center Presents performance season, sponsored this year by Carmel-based Allied Solutions, which includes approximately 50 performances each year in a wide range of musical and entertainment genres.

The campus is also home to the affiliated Great American Songbook Foundation.

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