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The Modells would likely have supported Lyric renaming | READER COMMENTARY

Django Allegretti as Siegfried and Nicole Kelsch as Odette with the "Swan Lake" line in the Ballet Theater of Maryland production at the Patricia and Arthur Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric in Baltimore. (The Baltimore Sun).
Django Allegretti as Siegfried and Nicole Kelsch as Odette with the "Swan Lake" line in the Ballet Theater of Maryland production at the Patricia and Arthur Modell Performing Arts Center at The Lyric in Baltimore. (The Baltimore Sun). (Photo by Bud Johnson for The Baltimore Sun)

I feel obligated to write this letter since I was mentioned in Dan Rodricks’ recent column (”Lyric letter suggests the Modell family name will be removed from the Baltimore theater if family doesn’t pay to keep it there,” Jan. 12).

My wife and I were privileged to become close friends of Pat and Art Modell when they came to Baltimore. I was at the time the chair of the Lyric, and Pat and Art were very interested in becoming part of our city. They particularly wanted to support the arts. They fell in love with the Lyric, and when the Lyric needed to raise substantial sums to renovate and update the Lyric stage, they offered to help. They agreed to make a generous pledge of $3.5 million — $500,000 at the beginning and the balance of $3 million over 10 years. Their pledge, together with also generous help from the state of Maryland, allowed our project to be completed.

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The Lyric offered to rename the Lyric in appreciation of their generosity. Never was it mentioned between Pat, Art and me that the naming rights would be in perpetuity. Tragically, both Art and Pat died before the 10 years was over. The Lyric and everyone who enjoys the Lyric remains so very grateful and appreciative of the support of Pat and Art Modell. But for the arts and the Lyric theater to survive and thrive in Baltimore, additional funds are needed.

I believe that Art and Pat Modell would be supportive of the Lyric’s efforts to raise additional money from any source, and I understand that the Lyric will always honor the generous Modell legacy.

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Ed Brody, Baltimore

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