Jonathan and Jeannie Lavine established the Crimson Lion/Lavine Family Foundation to focus a significant portion of their philanthropic efforts toward leveling the playing field for individuals and families. The Foundation works to address pressing social challenges in the areas of education, community and public service, health and welfare, discrimination and poverty. The Foundation supports the multi-disciplinary efforts of organizations that serve to strengthen society through research, innovation, public policy, direct service and advocacy.
On February 28, 2019, WBUR introduced the grand opening of a state-of-the-art convening space called CitySpace to foster public conversation, civic engagement, and cultural expression. WBUR received a $5 million gift from Jonathan and Jeannie Lavine, the station’s largest-ever single donation since its inception in 1950 as an educational radio station licensed to Boston University, to support CitySpace and the creation of The Lavine Broadcast Center.
Jonathan Lavine is a co-managing partner and Chief Investment Officer of Bain Capital Credit. Mr. Lavine is a graduate of Columbia College and holds an MBA from Harvard Business School. Prior to his role at Bain Capital, Mr. Lavine worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Company. He began his career at Drexel Burnham Lambert in mergers and acquisitions. Jonathan and his wife Jeannie Lavine established the Crimson Lion Foundation in 2007. Through the Foundation, the Lavines support numerous organizations that improve access to education and help those living in poverty achieve economic mobility.
In addition to their donation to WBUR, the Lavines have been ardent supporters of numerous philanthropic initiatives over the years. Through the Crimson Lion Foundation, the Lavines provide financial support to numerous national and community-based organizations including LIFT, a nonprofit focused on breaking the cycle on intergenerational poverty, Cradles to Crayons, the Equal Justice Initiative and Best Buddies, among others. In 2019, with Better Angels Society and the Library of Congress, Jeannie and Joanthan Lavine created the Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film.
The Lavine Broadcast Center is a part of CitySpace, which will be located at the street level of WBUR’s headquarters at 890 Commonwealth Avenue on the border of Boston and Brookline. CitySpace will expand how WBUR serves the citizens of Greater Boston, with live events created for the venue ranging from discussions, debates, and lectures, to films, music, artistic performance, youth events and radio broadcasts.