The Columbia 50th Birthday Celebration, a new non-profit created to coordinate the events and programs commemorating Columbia’s golden anniversary, has received a lead gift of $50,000 from The Howard Hughes Corporation®, according to Managing Director Marlys East.
“This generous gift will help fund programs and other activities to mark Columbia’s golden anniversary in a way that honors its bold past, embraces the present and strives to advance the ideals of a progressive, vibrant and inclusive community.” East said. “We hope it will inspire other business leaders to join in supporting the celebration.”
The Howard Hughes Corporation is the majority landowner involved in the revitalization of Downtown Columbia® now underway. It is executing the Downtown Columbia Plan adopted in 2010 to guide the community’s continuing evolution. It is responsible for the acclaimed restoration and transformation of the former Rouse Company headquarters initially designed by internationally recognized architect Frank Gehry as well as for bringing Whole Foods Market and Petit Louis to Downtown Columbia. It is a partner with Kettler in The Metropolitan Downtown Columbia and is developing the One Merriweather office building in the Merriweather District among other revitalization efforts.
“The Howard Hughes Corporation is proud to be associated with Columbia as it honors its past and imagines its future,” said John DeWolf, Senior Vice President for Development for The Howard Hughes Corporation. “I knew and admired Columbia’s founder, Jim Rouse. Columbia’s 50th birthday affords us the perfect opportunity to celebrate the original values upon which the community was founded and showcase the many reasons that Columbia is a great place to live, work and play.”
Columbia’s official birthday is June 21, 2017. Birthday activities will commence March 20 and continue until September 22. The six-month celebration will include a wide variety of programs and events to honor the community’s history and provide inspiration for its future. Civic and business leaders have been meeting for over a year to plan for the golden anniversary, and a number of local organizations are scheduling their traditional and new events during the celebration. Additional participating groups are welcome.
Columbia Association is funding East’s position and providing office space and other in-kind services to support 50th birthday activities. Contributions are also being sought from other public and private sources.