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Historic $10m Prudential Foundation Gift To Support NJPAC Education, Operations And Endowment

Published 06-24-04

Submitted by Prudential Financial, Inc.

Newark, NJ - The New Jersey Performing Arts Center announced today an historic $10 million gift from The Prudential Foundation in support of educational initiatives, operations, and endowment at the Center. The gift, comprised of $3 million toward NJPAC's endowment, granted as part of Prudential Financial's 125th Anniversary Celebration, and $7 million for support of NJPAC's Early Learning through the Arts program and general operations, will be celebrated today at a reception on the Prudential Hall stage featuring more than one hundred guests and friends of the Arts Center.

"Where would Newark be if not for Prudential?" said Lawrence P. Goldman, NJPAC's President and CEO. "In fact, where would New Jersey be? Throughout the City and State, there are dozens of examples of Prudential's amazing civic leadership. This is not passive check-writing. Prudential is hands-on in its giving. The financial commitments are always accompanied by the passionate activism of its senior executives and inner family. And it all starts at the top with Art Ryan and his partner in public service and wife, Pat. In Art and Pat, we've gotten what we call in the arts, a 'two-fer.' They have given tirelessly to make NJPAC a respected leader on the international cultural scene and Newark a place that is regaining its standing as an important American city."

The combined $10 million gift from Prudential will support, among other programs, the Arts Center's popular Early Learning through the Arts (ELTA) program, which provides 3-5 year old children with a foundation for future learning by teaching basic academic and life skills through the performing arts. In the 2003-2004 season, NJPAC's arts education department brought 40 ELTA residencies into 19 schools in seven New Jersey communities. The balance of the Prudential Foundation gift will be directed to the Arts Center's endowment and general operating support.

The Arts Center has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Prudential Financial, dating back to 1990 when the company made its first major commitment to the capital campaign to build NJPAC. Prudential Financial's overall giving to the Arts Center totals nearly $17.5 million.

"NJPAC's success has changed Newark in so many positive ways," said Arthur F. Ryan, President and CEO of Prudential Financial, Inc. and Co-Chairman of the Arts Center's Board of Directors. "The downtown is reborn with exciting economic and community development activities. Both the City's self-perception and its image within the general population have been dramatically enhanced since the Arts Center opened its doors in 1997. We are delighted to continue to play a major role in supporting NJPAC and Newark's renaissance. We have tremendous confidence that the best is yet to come for the Arts Center, for the City and its people, and for the region."

"Since our founding in 1875, Prudential's remained committed to our headquarters city of Newark and to strengthening local communities where we live and work," said Gabriella Morris, president of The Prudential Foundation, vice president of Community Resources for Prudential Financial and a trustee for NJPAC's Women's Association. "It is no understatement to suggest that NJPAC has been the most significant catalyst for economic development in Newark and the resurgence in civic pride for those who live and work here. We are so pleased to be able to re-invest in the mission of the Arts Center and help it continue to fulfill its promise, especially to New Jersey's children and their families."

"Prudential is once again leading the way for major philanthropy and enlightened corporate responsibility, not only in New Jersey, but nationwide," said Raymond G. Chambers, founding Chairman and current Co-Chairman of the Arts Center's Board of Directors. "Art Ryan embodies everything that leadership and vision means in today's American society. He is more than just a skilled and accomplished chief executive; he is a man with a deeply-rooted belief that service to the community is our highest form of existence. There are few I can think of who exemplify that ideal as unequivocally as Art Ryan."

"When believers in Newark and NJPAC were few, Prudential stood firm and saw a City and an institution with great promise," said Goldman. "We are so fortunate to have Art Ryan's active involvement in guiding NJPAC in its mission to be what a 21st-century performing arts center should and must be. And, Pat Ryan has been indefatigable in her support of NJPAC and so many other important causes in and around Newark." Mrs. Ryan currently serves as President of NJPAC's Women's Association, which is responsible for managing the Arts Center's Spotlight Gala, New Jersey's largest and most successful annual fundraising event. "Finally," added Goldman, "as head of The Prudential Foundation, Gabriella Morris has been uncommonly generous with her time, guidance and wisdom."

"Newark is sincerely blessed to be home to Prudential Financial and The Prudential Foundation," said the Honorable Sharpe James, Mayor, City of Newark. "Prudential dug in its heels and stayed in Newark throughout its darkest days. Today, as the City shines anew with great successes and even greater promise, Prudential's investment in Newark is paying huge dividends. We are grateful for the company's generosity, to NJPAC and to so many other great Newark institutions and community-based organizations, and owe a huge debt of gratitude to Art and Pat Ryan and to Gabriella Morris for involving themselves so personally in the life of our city."

Founded in 1977, The Prudential Foundation is the nonprofit grant-making organization of Prudential Financial, Inc. It is part of Prudential's Community Resources Department, a strategic combination of four units: the Foundation, which strives to build children and families' self sufficiency; the Social Investment Program, which originates and manages socially beneficial investments; Local Initiatives, which coordinates employee volunteerism and fosters community outreach; and Business Diversity Outreach, which facilitates diverse market development and outreach efforts for Prudential businesses. The mission of the Community Resources Department is to strengthen Prudential by investing financial resources, business expertise and associate volunteer skills in programs that increase human potential and individual self-sufficiency through education, job skills, economic revitalization and basic community health.

Prudential Financial companies, with approximately $454 billion in total assets under management as of March 31, 2004, serve individual and institutional customers worldwide and include The Prudential Insurance Company of America, one of the largest life insurance companies in the United States. These companies offer a variety of products and services, including life insurance, mutual funds, annuities, pension and retirement related services and administration, asset management, securities brokerage, banking and trust services, real estate brokerage franchises and relocation services. For more information, visit www.prudential.com.

New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), located in the heart of an emerging downtown Newark, New Jersey, is the sixth largest performing arts center in the United States. Home of the Grammy&reg Award-winning New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, NJPAC has been widely cited as a catalyst in the revitalization of New Jersey's largest city, attracting over 3.5 million visitors (including more than 700,000 children) in its first seven years of operation. For more information, visit www.njpac.org.

Programming has been made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Prudential Financial, Inc.

Prudential Financial, Inc.

Prudential Financial companies, with approximately $568 billion in total assets under management as of June 30, 2006, serve individual and institutional customers worldwide and include The Prudential Insurance Company of America, one of the largest life insurance companies in the United States. These companies offer a variety of products and services, including life insurance, mutual funds, annuities, pension and retirement-related services and administration, asset management, banking and trust services, real estate brokerage franchises, relocation services and, through a joint venture, retail securities brokerage services.

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