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The Delicate Dance

Fund-Raising Takes Finesse, Persistence and a Nurturing of Arts Benefactors' Desire to Give to Society

July 13, 1999|ZAN DUBIN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

The former UC Irvine fundraiser does that by attending three Center performances a week and schmoozing at intermission. Then, he enters data like "Mrs. Smith's father was a concert pianist and we need to find out if she shares his love of music" in a computerized file.

At UCI, he helped get Marjorie A. and the late Richard H. Barclay to agree--after nearly a year of team cultivation--to give a $1-million "naming" gift to subsidize construction of the Irvine Barclay Theatre. And he remembers the precise turning point.

Jones knew Richard Barclay wanted to leave a lasting legacy, loved music and played piano. Then, through a tete-a-tete, he discovered that "the stage kind of fascinated him."

Construction of the on-campus auditorium, which Jones could see from his office, had just begun.

"So I called Mr. Barclay up and said, 'How'd you like to put on a hard hat, walk through, and imagine what it will be like?' " Jones recalled. "He did, and that's what it took."

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Editor's note: Zan Dubin was a Times arts and entertainment writer through June 1999.

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