Future Arts Center To Be Named for Generous Benefactors

December 8, 2023
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A future performing arts center will be named for Tessa and Richard Ader, who gave UVA a gift of $50 million. The center is envisioned as part of a future arts complex in the Emmet-Ivy Corridor. (Contributed illustration)

A future performing arts center at the University of Virginia will be named for Tessa and Richard Ader, a pair of philanthropists who previously donated $50 million to the University as part of a commitment to bolster music, dance and theater in Charlottesville and Central Virginia.

The Board of Visitors approved the naming on Friday.

The Tessa and Richard Ader Performing Arts Center will be a key component of a future arts complex planned for the Emmet-Ivy Corridor. The Aders’ 2021 donation is the largest arts gift in University history. 

“I believe this new facility will be a wonderful asset to our community, and I am hopeful my gift will encourage others to come forward as well to make it a reality,” Tessa Ader said when the University announced the gift. 

Tessa and Richard

The Aders have been generous benefactors for the arts at UVA and in Charlottesville. After Richard Ader’s death in 2019, Tessa Ader has continued the couple’s legacy of support. (Contributed photo)

The performance hall will be part of an expansive Center for the Arts planned for the Emmet-Ivy Corridor, situated in a prominent location along Emmet Street and perpendicular to the under-construction School of Data Science. Both buildings will front a new landscaped pond and amphitheater. University leaders are also considering relocating The Fralin Museum of Art and the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection to the area in the future.

The Aders have been generous supporters of the arts in Charlottesville. In addition to the UVA gift, the Aders have supported the Charlottesville Symphony and have provided endowments for local students studying music. 

Media Contact

Mike Mather

Managing Editor University Communications