Tad Taube Leads Support for Reopening of the Historic UC Theatre, a New Concert Hall Serving the Bay Area


July 28, 2015


Samantha Friedman, West End Strategy Team



Philanthropist Tad Taube Leads Support for Reopening of the Historic UC Theatre, a New Concert Hall Serving the Bay Area 

Matching grant from Taube Philanthropies challenges community to help “Turn on the Lights” at re-imagined venue for live music and youth education programs

BERKELEY – This fall, a historic Bay Area landmark will be reborn when The UC Theatre in Berkeley opens with a new identity. Originally opened in 1917 as a first-run movie theater, and among the oldest and most historically significant theaters in Berkeley, the City of Berkeley landmark is being transformed by the nonprofit Berkeley Music Group into a live music venue with a focus on youth education programs.

Tad Taube, chairman of Bay Area-based Taube Philanthropies, has come forward with a $1.3 million matching grant to help raise the funds necessary to complete renovation and restoration, a $5.6 million project. In gratitude for this gift, the music center will be renamed the Taube Family Music Hall at The UC Theatre, and the lobby will become the Shana Penn Lobby, named in honor of Shana Penn, executive director of Taube Philanthropies.

“The Berkeley Music Group is honored by Tad Taube and Taube Philanthropies’ extraordinary $1.3 million matching grant in support of The UC Theatre project,” said David M. Mayeri, president and founder of the Berkeley Music Group. “Starting now, every new dollar donated to our capital campaign will be matched – and thereby doubled. It is with Tad’s challenge grant that we move into the last phase of our campaign to complete the renovation of The UC Theatre before the end of 2015.

"We are sincerely grateful for this generous partnership with Taube Philanthropies and for Tad's challenge to the community to match his support. We look forward to meeting this challenge as others join us to 'Turn on the Lights' at The UC Theatre."

Tad Taube, chairman of Taube Philanthropies, added, “Music and the arts are gifts that should be accessible to everyone. David Mayeri and his innovative team at the Berkeley Music Group have developed a contemporary vision for The UC Theatre that will both enrich our community and broaden youth engagement in the arts. Supporting this project presents an opportunity for our community to engage in an endeavor that will have a broad, diverse impact on music, culture, education and quality of life in our community.”


Tad Taube's matching grant will help UC Theatre "Turn on the Lights." Photo: Paul Milne

Tad Taube's matching grant will help UC Theatre "Turn on the Lights." Photo: Paul Milne


Taube Philanthropies supports arts, education, civic, and Jewish cultural initiatives across the Bay Area, including the San Francisco Opera, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and various university-level programs and departments. The decision to motivate additional community involvement via a matching grant structure was developed in part out of a successful project last year through which his $2 million matching grant successfully encouraged the Bay Area community to provide the financial support needed to keep the inspiring Bay Lights sculpture on the Bay Bridge shining.

The Berkeley Music Group is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was formed to renovate and manage The UC Theatre in Berkeley. The organization’s mission is to present a vibrant and diverse range of live performances to advance the understanding and appreciation of music, culture and education in the East Bay. The organization is building a collaborative network of community partners with existing education, health, performing arts and music nonprofits to help them with their fundraising goals through events at The UC Theatre.

The UC Theatre will be the only music venue of its size and kind in the East Bay, a 1,400-person capacity, elegant, multi-tiered, all-ages music venue with a state of the art Meyer Sound system and theatrical lighting, as well as a full service restaurant and bar. The new theater will present a diverse range of local, national and international artists and bands of various musical genres. Core programming will include rock, indie, jazz, R&B, alternative and world music. Additional programming will include comedy shows, film and speaker series. Community programming will include symphony concerts, opera recitals, choral and Gospel performances, with an eye toward programs that appeal to a variety of audiences.

The UC Theatre’s nonprofit educational programs will combine workshops and internships to educate and mentor youth aged 17 to 25 in the technical, creative and business aspects of promoting and running concerts and cultural events These programs will be offered to youth attending local schools, through partnerships with established community organizations working with under-served youth, and to the general public. 

The new venue will lead to 150 new jobs, a significant investment in Berkeley’s continued economic revitalization.


Thanks to Tad Taube and Taube Philanthropies’ extraordinary $1.3 million matching grant, the Berkeley Music Group can start the last phase of the capital campaign to complete renovations and reopen the doors of The UC Theatre. Every new dollar donated in support of the capital campaign will be matched – and therefore doubled. Please visit www.theuctheatre.org for more information about how you can make a difference, help us meet the Taube Challenge, and Turn on the Lights at The UC Theatre!

More information on supporting this project is available at www.theuctheatre.org/support 

or by contacting David M. Mayeri at dmm@theuctheatre.org.





Taube Philanthropies was established in 1981 by its founder and chairman, Tad Taube. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area and with an office in Warsaw, the Foundation makes philanthropic investments primarily in the Bay Area and Poland, in scholarship, heritage preservation, arts and culture, education, and institution-building. Taube Philanthropies is committed to collaborative giving for greatest charitable impact and actively partners with individual donors and other foundations. For more information, please visit www.taubephilanthropies.org