The Carnegie announces public phase of campaign to preserve ‘one-of-a-kind’ building

The Carnegie, Northern Kentucky’s largest multidisciplinary arts venue – providing theater performances, educational programs and art exhibitions to the region – announced the public phase of its Preserving Northern Kentucky’s Cultural and Architectural Gem capital campaign.

Built in 1904, The Carnegie in Covington is the historic home of one of five remaining Carnegie auditoriums in the United States and has been sharing the arts with the community since it was founded in 1977. To preserve this one-of-a-kind building, The Carnegie launched its capital campaign, led by co-chairs Otto M. Budig Jr. and Sara Vance Waddell, in September 2019. With the successful support of several foundations and donors, more than $2 million of the $3.5 million campaign goal was secured during the initial phase. To garner the most out of the community’s support, The Carnegie has received a $50,000 matching gift pledge to extend the reach of dollars raised for the campaign. 

“The Carnegie’s role in the community and the region at large cannot be understated,” said Otto M. Budig Jr., The Carnegie’s past board president and co-chair of the capital campaign. “A pillar for the arts, The Carnegie inspires creativity for which many organizations strive. A successful capital campaign guarantees this building will continue to spearhead diverse, culturally rich programming and arts education for citizens of all ages and backgrounds.”

Reaching a broad cross-section of the Greater Cincinnati community, The Carnegie annually serves 80,000 community members of all ages. The organization makes the arts accessible for the widest audience possible by providing educational programming for children ages 6 to 13, 88% of whom live at or below the poverty level.

“I’m proud of the way this organization has continued to innovate and lead the way in connecting with arts patrons, students and community members,” said campaign co-chair and past board president, Sara Vance Waddell. “The Carnegie’s commitment to its surrounding community, and the region as a whole, makes the arts accessible and introduces new ideas, concepts and experiences to educators, students, families and more.”

To support The Carnegie’s Preserving Northern Kentucky’s Cultural and Architectural Gem capital campaign, visit

Preserving Northern Kentucky’s Cultural and Architectural Gem Campaign Committee:

  • Honorary Chairs: Sue and Bill Butler
  • Campaign Co-Chairs: Otto M. Budig, Jr. and Sara Vance Waddell

The Campaign Cabinet:

  • Ron Bates
  • Mary Ellen Cody
  • John Mocker
  • Molly Prues
  • Jens G. Rosenkrantz Jr.
  • Bob Sathe
  • Dwinelva Zackary

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