Every landmark building needs a strong foundation…

…a source of strength that helps shoulder the burden

…and a base of support upon which the structure must rest.

In each issue of “The Curtain Speech” this section will highlight some of the Auditorium Theatre’s cornerstones—individuals, corporations, and foundations whose support has been especially heartwarming. We are incredibly grateful for their generosity and for their kindness. And we want to acknowledge them because their selflessness is instrumental in helping our National Historic Landmark persevere, prosper, and grow.

These are compassionate people, responsible corporations, and philanthropic institutions committed to making a difference in the world.

These are friends just like you.

These are our cornerstones.

Crowning Achievements


The Auditorium Theatre is the most venerated home of the arts in Chicago.  There is something for everyone at this National Historic Landmark—from ballet to cabaret, Bach to rock, and jam-bands to Latin jazz.  We take pride in presenting the most sublime entertainment—in all its incarnations—to our patrons throughout this great city.  And that’s why we are especially delighted to see people who take advantage of everything the Auditorium Theatre has to offer. 

Two of these friends, Bruce and Deborah Crown, are among the Auditorium Theatre’s most generous and unwavering benefactors.  Bruce Crown is a member of the Auditorium Theatre’s Board of Directors, and in that capacity he has proven instrumental as a fundraiser, advocate, and leader for this cultural icon.  

Bruce and Deb have a strong history of philanthropy and community involvement.  Bruce is the Chairman of BevBar Inc., a Private Family Investment Company, and Deb has spent most of her career in Rehabilitation counseling and currently works for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Together, they donate their time and energy to a variety of worthwhile causes, from the arts to animal welfare. 

Bruce joined the Auditorium Theatre’s Board of Directors in 2009.  Since then, he has selflessly contributed incalculable time and energy to ensure this historic theatre continues to prosper.  Bruce saw his first performance at the Auditorium in the early 1970s when Les Grands Ballets Canadiens performed the rock ballet “Tommy.” His passion for music dovetails with the Auditorium’s mission of providing only the finest artistic experiences to the people of Chicago.  An enthusiastic and regular fixture at a variety of concerts throughout the year, Deb and Bruce most recently were the presenting sponsors of a one night performance of acclaimed musicians in an historic duet of piano and banjo, Chick Corea and Bela Fleck.

Bruce and Deb’s commitment to our theatre cannot be overestimated.  Not only do they frequently attend Auditorium events (in addition to our gala, they co-chaired our very first “Sullivan’s Summer Solstice” in 2013), they are also making a difference in the lives of hurting children by supporting “Hands Together, Heart to Art,” the Auditorium Theatre’s summer arts camp for children who have experienced the death of a parent. 

It is a considerable task to look back on the Crowns’ achievements over the last five years.  They certainly have much to be proud of—and we at the Auditorium Theatre are honored by their dedication and consummate generosity.  Their impact on the Auditorium can never truly be measured, and we are incredibly grateful for everything they have done, and all they continue to do, to help our theatre succeed—from board participation, to programmatic sponsorship, and their unwavering support of our mission. We are thankful for all of these examples of their steadfast commitment to the Auditorium—but most importantly, we are thankful to call them our friends.