The Indiana Repertory Theatre in Indianapolis has launched the public phase of an $18.5 million capital campaign. The theater says it raised $17 million in the private phase of the effort, which focuses on keeping the venue sustainable for decades to come.

The campaign, called "Front and Center," is being chaired by Founding Dean Emeritus of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy Gene Tempel and Sarah and John Lechleiter. The Lechleiters, Lilly Endowment Inc., Allen Whitehill Clowes Charitable Trust and Rolle and Cheri Dick are among those who have provided lead gifts of at least $1 million.

IRT Executive Artistic Director Janet Allen says the sustainability is the biggest reason for the campaign, adding, "It’s so the IRT will be here in 50 – hopefully 100 years – and can continue to make art that matters and changes lives."

The Indiana Repertory Theatre opened in 1972 and says it has welcomed nearly five million people since then.