“The Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts not only brings outstanding cultural events to Penn for students, but also is a unique portal between Penn and the Philadelphia community. It is exciting to be able to simultaneously support Penn and contribute to the jazz scene in an iconic jazz city.”
– Andrew R. Brownstein
College is a time when many young people discover passions they will enjoy for the rest of their lives. When Andrew R. Brownstein, W’75, C’75, WG’76, arrived on campus, he was introduced to a music genre he had previously overlooked. “My love of jazz started at Penn,” Andrew says. “One of our close friends was involved with WXPN, which had a great jazz library and excellent programming. I remember seeing jazz legends like Cleo Lane at Annenberg and learning about others with Philadelphia roots.”
From this seed blossomed a lifelong love of the art form. As Andrew and his wife, Elise Jaffe Brownstein, CW’76, increased their support of Penn over the years, the Annenberg Center has benefited. The couple created the Brownstein Fund for Jazz in 2009, and to commemorate each of their 40th reunions, they have made an additional pledge to strengthen the fund. By leveraging additional funds in support of programming through the Provost Challenge Match, which offers a 25% match to any new or increased giving to the Center, Elise and Andrew are maximizing the impact of their philanthropy. This new commitment will help usher in the Center’s African Roots, American Voices series, a three-year programming arc celebrating African-American musical genres and their impact on American culture, beginning with jazz and continuing with blues and gospel.
As Vice Chair of the Annenberg Center’s Board of Overseers since 2010, Andrew is truly dedicated to maintaining the Center’s ability to share culture with students and residents of Philadelphia alike. “Our experience at the University was very much an experience of exploring and living in Philadelphia,” Andrew says. “The Annenberg Center is a tangible demonstration of the interrelationship between the University and the city that makes Penn so special.”