Theater District Staple to be Named After Ernie Boch Jr.
The search for a benefactor to help fund a Theater District staple is over. Naming rights to the nonprofit overseeing the Wang and Shubert theaters have officially gone to the car dealership titan and New England icon Ernie Boch Jr. Yeah! He’s got it!
The trim, curly-haired 58-year-old magnate will lend his family name, and undisclosed funds likely somewhere north of a million dollars, to Boston’s theater scene, reports the Boston Globe. Naming rights for the previous ten years had gone to Citigroup, the bank, before Citi left town and severed the relationship.
“We are extremely proud to unite the legacies of two iconic families—the Wang family and the Boch family—through our new relationship with Ernie Boch Jr.,” said Josiah A. Spaulding, Jr., President & CEO of the Center, in a statement.
The Globe reports Boch and Spaulding are friends who share a passion for music and both grew up attending concerts at the Wang.
After overseeing his family’s empire of car dealerships, Boch has deep pockets, and doesn’t mind spending money on things he’s passionate about. In addition to infamously supporting GOP nominee Donald Trump’s candidacy, he runs a charity that supports music programs for children, called Music Drives Us.
“My family has a long history in celebrating all genres of music and a great respect for the power of the performing arts,” Boch says in a statement. “The Wang and Shubert are magnificent theatres with great historical value but it’s the programs they provide to the community that are truly inspiring. We’re deeply vested in the cultural and artistic vibrancy of Boston and I’m thrilled be a part of such an important legacy. My foundation, Music Drives Us, will work to support organizations to help keep music in our schools and communities. Together this is going to be an exciting collaboration with a common goal.”
He also plays a mean guitar solo, and previously helmed a rock and roll band called Ernie and the Automatics.
Take it away, Automatics: