At a reception held last night in the Murray Theatre at Ruth Eckerd Hall, Nancy and David Bilheimer were honored for their $2.5 million gift as part of Ruth Eckerd Hall’s theatre’s ongoing “Expanding the Experience” fundraising campaign. In recognition of the generous donation, the Capitol Theatre in downtown Clearwater will be named the Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre.

The gift will enable the Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts at Ruth Eckerd Hall to expand and secure its arts education programs, laying the foundation to build an education endowment for future generations through further fundraising efforts in the community.


“Nancy and I understand the importance of arts education for children and we are thrilled to be a part of the Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts,” said David Bilheimer. “Education and access are vital for our community.”

“This generous gift from Nancy and David will be the cornerstone to ensure the children of our community has access to quality arts education for years to come,” commented Susan Crockett, Ruth Eckerd Hall Acting President & CEO.  “On behalf of the entire staff at Ruth Eckerd Hall and our Board of Directors, we are deeply grateful and humbled by their example.” 

“The Bilheimers personify all that is good and kind and generous in our community. We are extremely thankful to Nancy and David for their generosity and commitment to The Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts and to children across the entire Tampa Bay area,” said Suzanne Delaney, Chief Development Officer / Vice President Development. 

The Capital Campaign, “Expanding the Experience”  is a $35 million campaign that began in 2013, with the renovation of the Capitol Theatre in Downtown Clearwater, the complete overhaul of the Murray Theatre in 2015 and the renovation of the Margarete Heye Great Room including a world-class commercial kitchen last year.  In 2017, renovations began at Ruth Eckerd Hall with the roadway improvements including new lanes for traffic, drop-off and departure, new signage, landscaping and lighting.  In 2018, ground breaking began for the new grand lobby, The Holt Family Stage in The Kate Tiedemann And Ellen Cotton Cabaret Theatre and may other improvements and is expected to be completed this Fall.

The Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts provides arts education programs to over 45,000 students through more than 81,000 hours of arts experiences annually, including offering classes from beginner to advanced instruction and for students looking to further their artistic passion.  The Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts offers private lessons and group classes in jazz, dance, drama, instrumental, music, musical theater, voice and choir music.  The Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts also presents a wide variety of performing arts opportunities to local schools, social service organizations, hospitals and retirement communities.  Currently, The Marcia P. Hoffman School of the Arts has 27 outreach sites, including students at Title 1 schools, persons with special needs and the elderly.