Phyllis Cortese
Executive Director
Charles Ives Center for the Arts
Address: University Boulevard
Danbury, CT
Phone: (203) 837-9226
Website: Ives Concert Park

Agendas & Minutes:

Listing files in 'Charles Ives Center for the Arts'

About Us: 
The Ives Authority honors the rich history and memory of Pulitzer Prize winning Danbury native, Charles Edward Ives, one of America’s greatest music composers by providing a nationally recognized forum for the performing and creative arts. Tucked away in a lush oasis of natural beauty on Danbury’s west side, Ives Concert Park hosts world-renowned artists in a wide variety of music and theater genres. The venue pays tribute to its storied roots in classical music while acknowledging the ongoing evolution of the art of live performance. With entertainment that ranges from enlightening to awe-inspiring, the Ives reflects the diverse multicultural community in which it resides; embracing the unique attributes that our performers and patrons bring to our site. A common love of the arts and the beauty of nature bring fans to our grounds. Their shared experiences here make them our friends.

This nonprofit  organization was originally  founded in 1974.  In 2007, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton  created  a City Authority  to  maintain  the  Ives’ founding  fathers’ vision and The Charles Ives Authority for the Performing Arts was born.

The park has become a tremendous resource for our community, initiating economic development for local businesses, as well as establishing corporate stakeholder partnerships that assist in underwriting the costs of performances, thus allowing affordable access to celebrated artistic experiences. This outdoor amphitheater with a seating capacity of 5,500, is situated on 40 wooded acres with a pond, breath-taking gardens, and public hiking trails.  The park is located on the Westside campus of Western Connecticut State University. Ives hosts a variety of international, national, regional and local artists. With over 60,000 patrons attending events each year, Ives Concert Park boosts tourism and is an asset in attracting consumers, new residents and businesses to the greater Danbury region. For more than 35 years this extraordinary entertainment destination has featured events such as the Celebrity Series, the Fine Arts & Family Series, Shakespeare, the Ives Festival Orchestra, Chamber Music, Jazz, Visual Arts, Arts Education, Children’s Events, and Cultural Festivals. 

Ives Concert Park values its partnership with the City of Danbury and Western Connecticut State University who both recognize the value of this exceptional facility and the many benefits it provides.  The Ives is proud of its contributions to enhancing  the quality of  life  for  our  citizens as well as students  who participate  in world class  productions right in our own backyard.

Thanks to a new partnership with New York City-based promoter The Bowery Presents, Ives Concert Park will offer an even more impressive array of performers for its Summer Concert Series. The Bowery Presents is an independent promotion company that programs live music in the venues they own and operate,  as well as other venues such as Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall, The Barclays Center, Central Park Summer Stage, the Beacon Theatre and many more venues throughout New England.

The Ives Authority supports local social service agencies through Project Outreach distributing tickets to disabled and multicultural inner-city residents bringing exposure of the arts to underserved populations, while building audiences for future generations. 

Ives Concert Park is extremely fortunate to receive generous contributions throughout the year from many sponsors and donors as well as in-kind contributions of goods and services.  A special thank you to the park’s major corporate stakeholder sponsors, Wells Fargo Advisors, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, Newtown Savings Bank,  The News Times Hearst Media Services, Union Savings Bank, Cumulus Media, Morris Media Group, Leverage Marketing Group, Berkshire Broadcasting, Comcast – Xfinity, RKE Productions, Matrix Conference & Banquet Center, Branson, Maron Hotel & Suites, Danbury Cultural Commission, Holiday Inn Express, Pepsi and Pure Leaf.

“The Garden Series @ Ives”

Thanks to the generous support of grants from The Meserve Memorial Fund and Savings Bank of Danbury as well as in-kind contributions from Shakespeare’s Garden and Coopersmith Design, The Garden Series was successfully launched this past season. The gardens serve as a centerpiece for the growing number of patrons that visit each season. Elements such as fountains, arbors, reflecting pools and illumination help create a special outdoor space that provides a perfect complement to the enriching cultural experiences at the Ives. Features such as stone garden furniture along with benches are utilized to create naming opportunities for additional revenue streams.  A lecture series, multicultural performances, art exhibits and receptions are offered free to the public with a special focus on exposing underserved populations to the magic of the arts. Sculpture exhibits provide gallery opportunities featuring the extraordinary talent of local artists who generously offer 30% back to Ives as a nonprofit donation for every sculpture that sells while on exhibit. Patrons invest in the arts with a purchase of a remarkable sculpture while supporting Ives Concert Park and the community. 

“Friends of the Ives, Inc.”
The Friends of the Ives, Inc., a 501 ( C ) ( 3) was established and is dedicated to securing funding for programming and operations at Ives Concert Park.  Expanded target marketing campaigns promote Ives as an ideal event destination for weddings, corporate events, company picnics, private parties and receptions

The “Ambassadors for the Arts” is a volunteer share program. Corporate community stakeholder  volunteers are invited to engage, energize and establish a  highly  charged, enthusiastic  team  of  advocates  who  are  a  valuable  resource  of  information  while  providing  exemplary  customer service  to  patrons  who visit the park at our events. Ives Ambassadors may offer a reciprocal volunteer share at partner community stakeholder businesses as well.

Arts & Economic Prosperity in the State of Connecticut
Connecticut’s Arts & Cultural Organizations
Mean Business  *  Mean Jobs *   Mean Cultural Tourism

Recent studies on the arts and economic prosperity provide compelling new evidence that nonprofit arts and culture are a significant industry in the State of Connecticut, one that generates $653 million in total economic activity. This spending —$455.5 million by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and an additional $197.5 million in event related spending by their audiences—  supports 18,314 full-time equivalent jobs, generates $462.5 million in household income to local residents, and delivers $59.1 million in local and state government revenue.  This economic impact study sends a strong signal that when we support the arts, we not only enhance our quality of life, but we also invest in our community and the State of Connecticut’s economic well-being.”

The Ives Board of Directors is a motivated, energized team of fiscally responsible community leaders. They are unified in building on a strong foundation to increase visibility, expand audience capacity, innovative programs and outreach initiatives and enhance the artistic, cultural, educational and economic vitality of the greater Danbury area. 

For 37 years, Ives Concert Park has been an inspiration for cultural enrichment for the entire family featuring quality performances that sustain the fabric of our community. We hope to continue to paint a picture of a future in which every member of the community can see themselves.  Working together we can reach out to all segments of our society and create spaces where diverse residents can come together and celebrate the arts.