Play your part as Yoko Ono Lennon Centre approaches final funding milestone

The new Yoko Ono Lennon Centre is just £250,000 away from reaching its fundraising target, after donations totalling almost £700,000 were received last month.

The major funding boost means the University of Liverpool has moved even closer to achieving its ambitious £3 million target, and is looking for your help to reach it by the end of 2021.

The fundraising campaign, which launched in 2019, received generous support from a number of high profile donors, among them the Tung Foundation after whom the Tung Auditorium, the 400-seat high-specification performance space within the Yoko Ono Lennon Centre, has been named.

New Tung Auditorium Artistic Director, Richard Hartwell said: “It would be impossible to create and sustain this sort of specialist facility without the incredible generosity of supporters.

“High specification concert halls are not just big rooms with seats in them, everything is designed with the acoustics in mind, from the types of materials used, the way walls are constructed to attenuate external noise and the asymmetrical detailing which diffuses the sound in just the right way.

“This complexity cannot be achieved without the right financial support, however it then becomes an investment for decades of future students, performers and audience.”

The campaign has been supported throughout by its Ambassadors, who include Yoko Ono Lennon herself, as well as award-winning actor Dame Patricia Routledge DBE, the first British female Professor of Surgery Averil Mansfield CBE, soprano Dr Joan Rodgers CBE, composer Professor Shirley Thompson OBE, the former Head of University Press Robin Bloxsidge and retired barrister and arts patron Nick Riddle. The Ambassador ranks were recently bolstered by the inclusion of Vanessa Reed, President and CEO of New Music USA, and the Campaign’s most recent appointee, Jonathan Rushworth, whose family have a long history in the city, and after whom the Rushworth Conductor’s Room will be named.

Additionally, the 600-seater Paul Brett Lecture Theatre, the largest purpose-built lecture theatre on campus, has been made possible by the generous support of alumnus and honorary graduate Dr Paul Brett (BA Hons Geography 1965, Hon LLD 2017).

The new donations received include a legacy from the estate of Dr Margaret Alston-Garnjost (PhD 1955), whose bequeath in 2020 also made a significant contribution to the COVID-19 Student Crisis Support Fund. Dr Alston-Garnjost was an alumna and physicist who co-authored several articles with Dr Luis Alvarez, who later went on to win the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1968.

The Centre will become the home of the University’s popular Lunchtime Concert Series as well as other new public-facing cultural highlights including concerts, lectures and events in the University calendar, including our annual Liverpool Literary Festival and Open House series.

Michaela Riches, Associate Director for Development said: “Our donors and supporters have been tremendous advocates for this project.

“They have embraced the establishment of this new teaching and performance centre and their support is enabling us to provide a wonderful new state-of-the-art concert venue for Liverpool, something the City will really benefit from.

“I’d like to thank everyone for their support to date and we welcome donations, of any size.”

The new state-of-the-art teaching and performance space is due to open to the public in Spring 2022.

To find out more about the Yoko Ono Lennon Centre and how you can support the fundraising campaign, please visit: www.liverpool.ac.uk/yoko

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