Char & Alan Augenstein: Frontdoors Magazine
10 Questions with Char and Alan Augenstein: Philanthropists and arts supporters.
From the August 2020 Issue of Frontdoors Magazine
1. Where did you move to Arizona from, and when?
CHAR: We were excited to have the opportunity to make Arizona our forever home beginning in 2003, albeit sad to leave the wonderful experience we had in Kansas City for the previous 13 years. We started our professional careers in Pittsburgh, living in Cincinnati and New York City, before relocating to Kansas City. We made the joint decision early in our marriage that Arizona would be our choice to share the final chapters of our lives. Due to a favorable combination of circumstances, Alan was asked to relocate to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Phoenix office, where he finished his career with the firm. We often comment to those gifted with birthright in this fabulous state, “We worked a lifetime to get here!”
2. Why are the arts so important to you?
CHAR: The arts are a vital resource, contributing to personal well-being, professional success and societal health. The intellectual stimulation they provide leads to increased academic performance in our schools, as well as heightened creativity and innovation in the workplace. The arts have a social impact, improving the quality and livability of our community. They unify us and feed our souls. The arts also play an essential role in building and sustaining economic vibrancy, strengthening competitiveness in the marketplace.
3. Do you have a personal background in the arts?
CHAR: We both grew up in Pittsburgh, where culture is part of your DNA. August Wilson hails from Pittsburgh and has always been my favorite playwright. We both believe an integral part of who we are today is due to the developmental benefits of early exposure to the arts. I was selected to participate in a Carnegie Mellon University creative program for youth K–12, allowing for early immersion and artistic enrichment. Although we opted for satisfying careers in business and accounting, our passion always has been with the arts.
ALAN: In New York City, my office was directly across from Radio City Music Hall. My daily commute entailed walking through the Broadway theater district, often in the evening hours at the bustling start of all the shows. This was Broadway immersion at its finest! I am currently on the board of the Herberger Theater Center, the exceptional performing arts center in downtown Phoenix, where I serve as treasurer, on the executive committee and chair the finance committee.
For the full interview, click here.