Stein Family Foundation pledges $5M to Boca Raton Center for Arts

Boca Raton

Boca Raton Arts District Exploratory Corporation (BRADEC) President of the Board Andrea Virgin (foreground center left) and Edith Stein (foreground center right) embrace following the announcement that The Edith & Martin Stein Family Foundation has pledged $5 million to the institution. Photo credit: OGK Studios

BOCA RATON, Fla. — The Boca Raton Arts District Exploratory Corporation (BRADEC) is proud to announce its first seven-figure capital pledge of $5 million. The donation comes from The Edith & Martin Stein Family Foundation, for the new Boca Raton Center for Arts & Innovation proposed at the north end of Mizner Park in Downtown Boca Raton.

In May, BRADEC won unanimous support from the Boca Raton City Council — meeting as the Community Redevelopment Agency — to negotiate a lease for the Mizner Park Amphitheater site, and an adjacent, 1.8-acre land parcel.

“On behalf of BRADEC, I’m thrilled to announce this landmark pledge to our capital campaign. The exceptional generosity and commitment to improving the civic and cultural life of Boca Raton demonstrated by Edith and her late husband, Martin, have put us on a path to realizing our extraordinary vision for the Center, and establishing Boca Raton as an epicenter for the arts, technological innovation, and education along the Gold Coast,” remarked BRADEC President of the Board, Andrea Virgin.

Edith and Martin Stein moved to Boca Raton in 1990 and quickly became involved in the community, enabling the creation of the Boca Raton Philharmonic Symphonia, and contributing to the Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Ballet Theatre, The Boca Raton Regional Hospital Foundation, the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County, Tri-County Animal Rescue, and Florence Fuller Child Development Center, among many other local nonprofits that enjoy their support.

The Steins also maintained a connection to their native New Jersey through similar philanthropic endeavors, including donations to the Jewish Federation of Middlesex County, Temple Emanuel, Embrace Kids Foundation, and other organizations.

Martin Stein was a pillar of the Boca Raton community and a generous supporter to many. He was a kind and caring man, and a treasured boss and mentor before his passing in 2017. “He lived a long and remarkable life, touching so many of us with love and compassion, leaving behind a legacy that ought to inspire each and every one of us, all along the way doing it always with his amazing brand of humor,” says Mrs. Edith Stein of her late husband.

Amidst their many philanthropic priorities in Boca Raton, they still felt something was missing. Mrs. Stein noted that she and Martin, “were so entranced with what was on offer in New York. We would go to the opera and other functions that were magical to us — and we didn’t have anything like that here [in Boca Raton.]”

Reflecting on the promise of the Center to emerge as a cultural landmark in Boca Raton, Mrs. Stein commented: “Martin was very passionate about the arts — music, jazz, paintings. Art was his thing. He always wanted everything under one roof. For this Center to happen, it would be his dream come true.”

After hearing news of the pledge from The Edith & Martin Stein Family Foundation, Boca Raton Mayor Scott Singer commented, “Congratulations to BRADEC on this announcement, which reflects only a fraction of the deep interest and support for this transformative project. The City looks forward to continuing our work with BRADEC to finalize the ground lease, which will be a major milestone for the Center.”

Following negotiations with the city, this transformative gift will enable BRADEC to continue the essential work required to advance the new Center’s design, programming, and community engagement efforts. BRADEC Development Director​ Andrea Doyle noted, “Mrs. Stein’s philanthropic commitment to the Center is humbling and inspiring, and puts wind in our sails in engaging other prospective capital donors whose involvement will be key to moving this project forward.”

In advance of a signed ground lease to secure control of the site, which is expected by year-end, this level of major donor commitment demonstrates the momentum and support that continues to build for the Boca Raton Center for Arts & Innovation.

The Center coming to fruition will finally be a decades-long promise coming to life. “If Martin was here, I believe he’d see the development of this center for the arts finally coming to fruition and say ‘my job here is done.’ It is truly a dream come true for us, and for all of the residents of Boca Raton,” noted Mrs. Stein.

About the Boca Raton Center for Arts & Innovation:

Conceptually announced in 2018, the Boca Raton Center for Arts & Innovation is a non-profit initiative to build a state-of-the-art hub for arts, culture, technology, and education in Florida’s Gold Coast region. The Center imagines six diverse and adaptive performance & event spaces — indoor & outdoor — ranging in capacity from 99 to 3,500 seats. These can be programmed as individual spaces or combined to host events for nearly 6,000 total attendees.

The venues include a state-of-the-art, 1,100-seat concert & performance hall, designed as a multi-form theater with several configurations including the ability to become completely flat-floor; an existing amphitheater stage that is improved to allow for a transformation into a 450-seat “Black Box” interior space, through the use of an innovative structural curtain; the 3,500-seat existing Mizner Park Amphitheater, which can be programmed simultaneously with the “Black Box” space; a jewel-box, 99-seat performance hall that can be converted into a large rehearsal studio or event space; an outdoor rooftop terrace, which can accommodate an estimated 200 patrons; and additional campus spaces that will enable technological innovation and education through the arts. An innovative canopy feature will shelter the Center’s outdoor spaces from the elements.

For more information and updates, and details on how to assist the project team in bringing the vision for the Center to life, please visit https://bocaratonartscenter.org/.

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