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Ken and Martha Schwartz Fund boosts planned additions to San Luis Obispo’s art district

Ryan C. Loyd with RyLo Media Design

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County has earmarked $300,000 in grants to make additions to downtown San Luis Obispo's Cultural Arts District.

The grants come from the Ken and Martha Schwartz Fund, a donor advised fund held by the Community Foundation.

The Community Foundation CEO Heidi McPherson said, “These grants show the impact philanthropy can have. Ken and Martha’s friends saw a need, established a fund, and the contributions over the years – including the Schwartz family’s own sizable contribution – will create a long-lasting legacy that will benefit the entire region.”

The grants will go towards a new venue for the SLO Repertory Theatre and a new building for the SLO Museum of Art. A rendering of the planned SLO Repertory Theatre addition by architect Bryce Engstrom is below.

The $300,000 in grants will be distributed into three equal payments to the SLO Repertory Theatre for a new downtown venue, the SLO Museum of Art for a new art museum, and one set aside for future physical improvements to the Mission Plaza-Cultural Arts District.

“What a wonderful tribute to Ken and Martha Schwartz. Their devotion to San Luis Obispo was
extraordinary,” said SLO City Mayor, Erica A. Stewart. “Ken’s concept of a cultural arts district was truly visionary. He understood that a thriving city has a vibrant downtown with a flourishing arts district.”

Construction on the new 163,000 square foot Cultural Arts District parking structure began on May 1 with vertical construction to begin this fall. An estimated completion time is planned for 2025.

Groundbreaking for the new SLO Repertory Theatre venue is currently scheduled for 2025 with completion in early 2027. The project has already raised $11.3 million of the expected $15.3 million cost.

Article Topic Follows: San Luis Obispo County
art district
City of San Luis Obispo
COmmunity Foundation San Luis Obispo County
Community Involvement
Ken and Martha Schwartz Fund
Mission Plaza-Cultural Arts District
san luis obispo county
SLO Museum of Art
SLO Repertory Theatre

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