With a heart bigger than any donation, Susan Moulton’s contribution helped raise a record setting total for the Tobin Performing Arts Center, San Antonio’s crown jewel of civic collaboration and achievement. The Tobin Board of Directors, donors, city and county leaders gathered yesterday morning to announce a $5 million donation from Susan Moulton and The Will Smith Foundation. The foundation is named after Moulton’s late son, Will Naylor Smith, which supports projects in San Antonio, Africa and Hawaii. The $5M surpasses the goals of the original capital campaign target and sets the record for the largest amount ever raised in San Antonio for a cultural institution.
Moulton’s generous contribution will lead to her officially naming the outdoor River Walk Plaza at a later date. At the podium, Moulton said she was leaning toward “The Naylor Plaza,” named after her great-grandfather who built the St. Anthony Hotel.
“What appealed to me about this spot [River Walk Plaza] is that it’s free. I was here initially meeting with them [Tobin admins] about doing something for our gala next year, and bringing in Aaron Lewis,” Moulton told Sobre Sound. It was clear from her speech on the podium and from a few minutes of speaking one-on-one, that Susan Moulton was incredibly relateable and down to earth. Thus, her donation towards the River Walk Plaza is a perfect fit for what The Will Smith Foundation stands for.
“Anything that is exposing children to something positive and good and especially for children that may not have the opportunity for the arts. I love the fact they offer things for children for free. I was here meeting with them [Tobin admins] and I watched people coming up with their chairs to watch the symphony, I love that its very open and natural and open to the river, it’s a beautiful spot.”
The River Walk Plaza is surrounded by beautiful buildings and green space and is accessible from the river. The plaza seats up to 600 and is frequently used for concerts and other community events like free movie screenings. “The Tobin Center shows the world we are serious about music, that we are serious about the arts,” stated Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff.