It’s no joke! KeyBank donates $250,000 to National Comedy Center

Pictured is a rendering of the National Comedy Center in Jamestown.

JAMESTOWN — KeyBank isn’t joking around when it comes to supporting an exciting new attraction in the Southern Tier! The bank is making a $250,000 donation to the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, which is scheduled to open on Aug. 1. This grant is being made in partnership with the First Niagara Foundation.

“The National Comedy Center will truly be a game changing attraction for Jamestown, the Southern Tier and all of Western New York,” said Gary Quenneville, KeyBank Upstate New York Regional Executive. “Support for this exciting new development perfectly aligns with our mission of helping the communities we serve thrive. We can’t wait to hear the laughter echo throughout Western New York from the thousands of new visitors this marquee attraction will bring to Jamestown.”

As part of this partnership, KeyBank will help welcome guests to this attraction at the new KeyBank Plaza at the National Comedy Center. Located in front of and adjacent to the new comedy center’s welcome hall, this exciting public gathering area will feature a unique blend of technology and green space. The area will include two large high definition video screens, speakers embedded throughout the plaza and seating areas. This space is designed to be a focal point in the middle of downtown Jamestown for activities and programming that has never existed before.

“KeyBank has been a wonderful partner to the National Comedy Center over the past several years by providing temporary bridge financing which allowed us to monetize our longer term grant commitments,” said Tom Benson, Project Chairman. “We are thrilled and very grateful that they have decided to extend this partnership to include this generous donation. KeyBank Plaza at the National Comedy Center will become the focal point for public outdoor activities that downtown Jamestown has never had and we are very excited to see this come to fruition with their assistance.”

The National Comedy Center embodies Lucille Ball’s vision for her hometown of Jamestown, New York to become a destination for the celebration of comedy in a way that educates, fosters and inspires. Design has been led by the most prominent cultural and interactive design firms in the world whose portfolios collectively include the award-winning 9/11 Memorial & Museum, The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, The College Football Hall of Fame, SNL: The Experience and more. The $50 million endeavor was made possible by state, federal and private philanthropic support including partnership with I LOVE NEW YORK†, Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York State’s Empire State Development. Leading leisure economic consulting firm AECOM estimates the center’s annual economic impact on the Western New York counties of Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Erie will amount to approximately $23 million per year.

The National Comedy Center will celebrate its August grand opening with appearances by Amy Schumer, Lily Tomlin, Saturday Night Live original season alumni including Dan Aykroyd and more. The event will coincide with the annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, August 1-5 in Jamestown.