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Press Release: The Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Fund




For a web-ready (72 ppi) photo of Dr. Andrew and Erna Viterbi, click here (photo by Bob Ross).
For a print-ready (300 dpi) photo of Dr. Andrew and Erna Viterbi, click here (photo by Bob Ross).

SAN DIEGO (March 16, 2016)—The Old Globe is pleased to announce a significant $5 million gift from Dr. Andrew Viterbi, which will create The Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Fund. This Fund, which supports the theatre’s artistic and arts engagement programs, will name the Globe’s artistic leadership position and confer on Barry Edelstein the honor of a new title: the Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director of The Old Globe. This visionary gift will help sustain the flagship San Diego institution during the next 10 years while also encouraging others to contribute to the Globe’s long-term stability. Dr. Viterbi has designed this gift to be an inspiration to other philanthropists to join him in his support of the theatre.

Erna and Andrew Viterbi have generously supported The Old Globe for more than two decades and in 2008 made a leadership gift of $2 million to permanently name the Viterbi Family Lobby of the in-the-round theatre. This spring, Dr. Andrew Viterbi created The Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Fund in memory of his beloved wife, who passed away in 2015 and was a longtime supporter of the arts. The Globe’s Board of Directors and staff are thrilled to be the recipients of this wonderful gift.

Erna Finci Viterbi, born in Sarajevo and raised in Italy and Switzerland, was fluent in four languages, took roles in many philanthropic endeavors, and loved her family and friends beyond measure. Erna and Andrew’s generous heart for humanity has benefited many causes—education at all levels, health and social services, and biomedical research—both nationally and internationally. The Globe family remembers Erna fondly and salutes Andrew for his continuing affection for the theatre.

“I’m grateful for this opportunity to memorialize my beloved wife Erna by supporting an institution she valued,” said Dr. Andrew Viterbi. “She particularly enjoyed theatre, as do I and my family, and I believe that the great work of The Old Globe deserves ongoing support, from us and from the wider community. I am pleased to attach her name to Barry Edelstein’s work and the work of this important San Diego institution.”

“The Viterbi family’s commitment to philanthropy is exemplary and inspiring, and we are most grateful,” said Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. “The Old Globe is proud to have been a beneficiary of their largesse for years, and we are thrilled to see our relationship with this remarkable family enter a new chapter with this extraordinary gift. My wife and I enjoyed a meaningful friendship with Erna, and we share her conviction that the arts are a necessary part of a fully lived life. That Dr. Viterbi has framed this contribution as a spur to motivate others to support the Globe is an inspired gesture that will help ensure the Globe’s high-quality work and stability for years to come.”

“On behalf of The Old Globe’s Board of Directors, I am thrilled and moved by this wonderful gift that will honor the Viterbi family and their incredible generosity,” said Old Globe Board Chair Vicki L. Zeiger. “It is fitting that Erna’s name is now associated with the Artistic Director position at the Globe. Erna treasured the arts and was deeply interested in bringing the beauty of live theatre to all people so that they could enjoy the experience. Andrew’s generous gift in Erna’s name will perpetuate her legacy for years to come.”

2015-2016 SEASON CALENDAR: Rain (3/24-5/1), Constellations (4/9-5/8), Camp David (5/13-6/19), tokyo fish story (5/28-6/26), Macbeth (6/19-7/24), Sense and Sensibility (7/6-8/14), Meteor Shower (7/30-9/4), Love’s Labor’s Lost (8/14-9/18).

PHOTO EDITORS: Digital images of The Old Globe’s productions are available at here.

The Tony Award-winning Old Globe is one of the country’s leading professional regional theatres and has stood as San Diego’s flagship arts institution for over 80 years. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Barry Edelstein and Managing Director Michael G. Murphy, The Old Globe produces a year-round season of 15 productions of classic, contemporary, and new works on its three Balboa Park stages: the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the 600-seat Old Globe Theatre and the 250-seat Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, both part of The Old Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center, and the 605-seat outdoor Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, home of its internationally renowned Shakespeare Festival. More than 250,000 people attend Globe productions annually and participate in the theatre’s education and community programs. Numerous world premieres such as the 2014 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Bright Star, Allegiance, The Full Monty, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and the annual holiday musical Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! have been developed at The Old Globe and have gone on to enjoy highly successful runs on Broadway and at regional theatres across the country.


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