Today, the Washington, DC arts community mourns the passing of renowned arts philanthropist Jaylee Mead. Ms. Mead was a revered contributor to the District's arts community. She and her late husband, Gilbert Mead, spearheaded the development of the Arena Stage Mead Center for American Theater. The city of Washington is forever indebted to Ms. Mead’s relentless commitment to ensuring the economic sustainability of arts organizations that comprise our great city. Her legacy as a humanitarian and arts supporter is one in which gives us great pride. On behalf of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Chair Judith Terra and Executive Director Lionell Thomas, we express our condolences to the Mead Family.
From the Washington Post by Emily Langer:
"Jaylee Mead, a NASA astronomer who married into a paper manufacturing fortune and with her husband, Gilbert, helped transform Washington’s cultural scene by donating more than $50 million to local theaters, died Sept. 14 at her home in Washington. She was 83.
The couple underwrote the Mead Theatre Lab for experimental plays at the Flashpoint cultural center downtown and the Mead Lobby at the Signature Theatre in Arlington. Over the years they supported local organizations including the Levine School of Music, the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and the Washington Chorus, as well as dozens of individual theatrical productions across the region."