The Old Globe in San Diego, California, has received a $5 million gift from Dr. Andrew Viterbi, which will create The Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Fund. This Fund, which supports the theater’s artistic and arts engagement programs, will name the Globe’s artistic leadership position and confer on Barry Edelstein a new title: the Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director of The Old Globe.
This 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 theater.
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 theater. This spring, Dr. Viterbi created The Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Fund in memory of his wife, who passed away in 2015 and was a longtime supporter of the arts.
“I’m grateful for this opportunity to memorialize my beloved wife Erna by supporting an institution she valued,” said Dr. Viterbi said in an Old Globe press release. “She particularly enjoyed theater, 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.”
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.
“The Viterbi family’s commitment to philanthropy is exemplary and inspiring, and we are most grateful,” Edelstein said in the release. “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,” Old Globe Board Chair Vicki L. Zeiger said in the release. “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 theater 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.”
April 11, 2016