Philanthropists Match Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Public Donations With $1 Million Gift

ASHLAND, ore. — After the pandemic, theatres across the US battled to get back to pre-pandemic audience levels, but the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) has found itself in the fortunate position of receiving extra support in the form of funding.

Financially, the theatre is now more stable than it was even six months ago thanks to its patrons and some generous benefactors who matched contributions from their fans and members with a $2 million sponsorship, which ensures that the OSF can go into its 2024 season $2 million richer. Raising an eye-watering $1 million in under 30 days, the public contributed $1 million which was matched by a group of philanthropists that includes Louise Gund, Bertie Bialek Elliott, Sid DeBoer, and Karen DeBoer.

Gund issued a statement confirming that they were committed to making sure that the magic of OSF shines a bright light on our common humanity, bringing joy with their productions. Tyler Hokama, interim executive director of OSF clarified that OSF is definitely not just for tourists. Being a fan even before taking up employment at this theatre, he is excited about the wonderful things available at this Ashland icon. He encourages everyone to check it out if they haven’t done so yet.

Grateful for the support OSF has received over the years from people in the local community and from those who are states away, Hokama indicated that they now have very strong momentum, as the broader OSF community has shown that they believe in what OSF is about by rallying around, helping them to gain traction. The theatre has been around for almost 90 years, and he gets to see who the different donors are- and whether the locals from Ashland or if they live upstate or even out of state.

Pleased and grateful for the extra $2 million, the OSF will bring back some programs for the first time since before the pandemic hit. Offering a school visit program and a permanent gift shop on Main Street, OSF itself is situated at 15 S. Pioneer St. in Ashland. Looking forward to the start of the 2024 season,  Hokama hopes to see the local community at this year’s shows.


To see the varied array of large and small-scale shows- that include some of  Shakespeare’s iconic works, and some diverse productions, check out our OSF 2024 season overview or go to the Ashland’s OSF website.

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