Philanthropist & Longtime Civic Leader Janice Allen Gifts $ 1 Million to The Smith Center for the Performing Arts
Allen Becomes Founder with Generous Commitment
LAS VEGAS (March 21, 2011) – Janice Allen and her late husband Fred are the newest Founders of The Smith Center thanks to a generous $1 million gift.
“I am so proud to be a part of The Smith Center as a Founder,” says Allen, who has had a love of music and theater since childhood. “When I came to Las Vegas 64 years ago, I never could have imagined that something as magnificent as The Smith Center would be possible, but it really is a dream come true.”
“The commitment and support from Janice Allen and our other generous Founders are what make The Smith Center possible,” says Chairman Donald D. Snyder. “We are so thankful for Mrs. Allen’s donation, which will help us build and equip our state-of-the-art performing arts facility for the people of Southern Nevada.”
Allen, who has been involved in community affairs since she arrived in Las Vegas, describes her contribution to The Smith Center as a legacy for late husband Fred Allen. “We’ll be long gone, but our names will still be here. It is a legacy for our commitment to the arts and to Las Vegas. We wanted to give back to the community that has given us so much.”
The Smith Center prides itself on making the arts accessible to all with a variety of productions, as well as educational partnerships throughout the community. The Smith Center features three performance venues – including Reynolds Hall, the cabaret theater and a studio theater.
The Smith Center is made possible by gifts from individuals, corporations and foundations in the Las Vegas community. Donations at all levels are welcome. Donors will receive advance notice of shows and events, first priority for tickets, recognition at The Smith Center and the knowledge they are helping create a community-changing performing arts center.
About Janice Allen
Janice Allen arrived in Las Vegas from Ohio with her first husband in June of 1947, flying in their own plane, after seeing a four-page photo spread of Las Vegas in Life Magazine. Soon after her arrival she began writing for the Las Vegas Review-Journal and became heavily involved in the Las Vegas community.
Allen is a 50-year member and past president of the Junior League and received the organization’s distinguished Lifetime Community Achievement Award in 2008. Allen was named one of the Most Influential Women of the First 100 Years of Las Vegas at the city’s centennial in 2005. Janice was also a Nevada Executive Ethics Commissioner, President of the Jaycee-Ettes, a board member of the Las Vegas Art Museum, a Boy Scout den mother, president of the PTA and worked on the nationally recognized Sun Youth Forum for 43 years as chairman of registrars and moderator. Allen has also been committed to the arts since the beginning, as she was heavily involved with Las Vegas’ early Community Concerts, Young Audiences and the Charles Vanda concert series at UNLV. Allen is also a proud supporter of local charities, including the Nevada Cancer Institute, Opportunity Village and Three Square Food Bank. Allen also had a successful career in magazine writing, television and radio production. On top of her community involvement and career, one of Allen’s proudest roles is as a mother to two sons, Gary and Craig Haupt, whom she raised in Las Vegas.
Allen was married to second husband Fred Allen in 1984. She describes the near twenty-five year marriage as being as close to be perfect as it could be. Fred Allen was a well-known Las Vegas businessman, land developer and well driller. Some of Mrs. Allen’s favorite memories with her late husband were traveling the world together, where Allen acquired her hobby of collecting clocks. In addition to being known for her love and support of the Las Vegas community, she is known as the “Clock Lady” and has more than 200 clocks in her home, which she has willed to the new Nevada State Museum in Las Vegas.
About The Smith Center
The Smith Center for the Performing Arts is a public/private partnership that will become the centerpiece of cultural life in Las Vegas, offering a blend of performances by resident companies, as well as first-run touring attractions. The five-acre cultural campus will feature three performance spaces, the 2,050-seat main performance area in Reynolds Hall and Boman Pavilion’s cabaret and studio theaters, and will behome to the Discovery Children’s Museum. The Smith Center will be a living room for Las Vegas; a place that will educate, entertain and excite the citizens of our great community. Located in downtown’s 61-acre urban development, Symphony Park, The Smith Center broke ground in May of 2009 with a ceremonial carillon bell casting and ringing. In February 2010, it celebrated its “Topping Out” with the raising of 50 tons of steel and is projected to open in March 2012.