Verizon Hall, home of the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Kimmel Center, will be renamed for contralto and civil rights activist Marian Anderson.

In Wednesday’s (2/28) Philadelphia Inquirer, Peter Dobrin writes, “Farewell, Verizon Hall. The cello-shaped concert room at the Kimmel Center is getting a new moniker … Marian Anderson Hall. The name of the contralto and civil rights heroine will adorn the hall’s exterior beginning in June with a rededication ceremony and gala concert, leaders of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc. announced Wednesday…. There are few instances in Philadelphia of names or images of Black women displayed with this degree of prominence. And among concert halls internationally, the vast majority are named for their corporate or individual donors. Here, the philanthropists decided to cede naming honors to an artist and her message. ‘For many of us, [she] has not been sufficiently recognized, and this was an opportunity …,’ said Leslie Anne Miller, who, along with her husband, Richard B. Worley, gifted $25 million to rename the home of the Philadelphia Orchestra for Anderson in perpetuity…. Regarding the message it sends to have the name of a Black woman on so prominent a building, Matías Tarnopolsky, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, said: ‘This is also a gesture about ensuring that our organization is the most welcoming to the most people so that everyone feels welcome and seen.’ ”