San Diego Symphony awarded gift from The Conrad Prebys Foundation

Gift will support construction of The Shell® and San Diego Symphony operations

The San Diego Symphony is pleased to announce a major multi-year gift from The Conrad Prebys Foundation awarded to support the construction of San Diego’s newest outdoor venue, The Shell®. Slated to open in Summer 2021, The Shell will become San Diego Symphony’s new permanent outdoor summer home, a venue for touring and local artists, and a public park for the community to enjoy. The San Diego Symphony is grateful for the support to enrich downtown San Diego’s cultural offerings and thanks the Conrad Prebys Foundation for this partnership. 

Honoring its namesake’s passion and legacy for philanthropic giving, The Conrad Prebys Foundation is awarding nearly $78 million in grant funding to 121 grant projects during its inaugural grant cycle. Reflecting the urgent needs of San Diego’s community in addition to areas of personal interest for the foundation, The Conrad Prebys Foundation continues to explore innovative ways to maximize impact in the region with gifts that inspire both the organization and community.  

“Our staff and board are honored to serve as stewards for The Conrad Prebys Foundation, and with our role comes the responsibility to empower the nonprofits creating meaningful change across San Diego,” said Erin Decker, director of grantmaking for The Conrad Prebys Foundation. “The grantees have exhibited an extraordinary level of resilience, innovation and compassion during this very challenging time, and it is these organizations that will heal our community in the months and years to come. The foundation is proud to be a part of their story.”

“A lifelong enthusiast of visual and performing arts, Conrad often found inspiration during a visit to a theatre, concert hall or museum,” said Tony Cortes, board chair of The Conrad Prebys Foundation. “This has been an extraordinarily difficult year for the arts and culture community, and Conrad would be deeply pleased to see the impact these grants will have in encouraging this community to do what it does best–inspire.”

“Conrad Prebys’ love of music led to his significant support of the San Diego Symphony, especially near the end of his lifetime,” shared Martha Gilmer, CEO of the San Diego Symphony. “His legacy of community support will live on through our mission of changing lives through music and providing access to music across our region. We are grateful to the Conrad Prebys Foundation for this gift and are looking forward to sharing The Shell with all of San Diego soon!”

Nearly $30 million awarded in the foundation’s winter grant cycle will be dispersed in 2021, with remaining funds administered in future years as part of multi-year grant requests. The size of the grants awarded range from a $7,500 one-time grant to a $15 million multi-year grant.

A full list of organizations, grant amounts and projects funded can be found here: The Conrad Prebys Foundation Grant List March 2021

About The Conrad Prebys Foundation

The Conrad Prebys Foundation was established by real estate entrepreneur Conrad Prebys to perpetuate his commitment to philanthropic endeavors. The Conrad Prebys Foundation inspires transformational change by funding project in alignment with Conrad Prebys’ legacy interest and continuing his efforts that spark meaningful advancement in our communities. For more information, visit


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