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Houston's Alley Theatre home to change name following historic $25M anonymous gift

Alley Theatre's home to change name following $25M anonymous gift

Alley Theatre external
Behold the Meredith J. Long Theatre Center. Courtesy of Alley Theatre

The building that houses one of Houston's premier arts institutions has a new name thanks to a generous benefactor. The Alley Theatre announced that its home on Texas Avenue will now be known as the Meredith J. Long Theatre Center.

Named in honor of the theatre's longtime chairman emeritus, the new name comes via a $25 million matching grant made to the organization's Alley Vision for the Future Campaign, an $80 million drive to boost the Alley's endowment, support artistic initiatives, fund building repairs after Hurricane Harvey, and other worthy goals. It is the largest gift in the Alley's 75 year history.

“We are so honored to be receiving such a generous anonymous gift,” campaign chair Butch Mach said in a statement. “Meredith Long played a major part in the Alley’s history as a former board president, capital campaign co-chair, champion of new work and our resident acting company. Naming the building after him is a well-deserved tribute.”

During his 31 years on the Alley Theatre board, Long led two successful fundraising drives. The first, a $25 million campaign, raised funds for repairs after Tropical Storm Allison and and funded the construction of the 75,000 square-foot Alley Center of Theatre Production. A $56 million campaign raised money for the comprehensive renovations the Alley completed in 2015.

“This benevolent gift allows the Alley to flourish for decades to come,” says Alley board president Kenneth P. Kades added. “With this gift as part of the Alley Vision for the Future Campaign, the Alley will continue its mission to inspire and enchant lives with theatre that is at the highest level of artistic excellence.”

Producing as many as 16 plays per year and hosting up to 500 performances, the Alley reaches 200,000 people annually, according to the institution. It is compromised of two stages: the 774-seat Hubbard Theatre and the 296-seat Neuhaus Theatre.