Letter: Join me in supporting our State Theatre

Over the past two weeks, we have all heard a lot about the imminent needs of the State Theatre. I, too, was shocked when I first heard the announcement that the Theatre needed to raise $400,000 by yearâ??s end. And Iâ??m sure, like me, you are wondering why and how this has happened.

Iâ??ve spent the past week reaching out to the Board of Directors and staff at the Theatre and asking questions. Iâ??m sure I am not alone when I asked questions like â??why does the Theatre need money now?â?, â??why does the Theatre need so much money?â? and, most importantly, â??if I donate to the Theatre, and the doors close, wonâ??t my money be a waste?â?

Thankfully, anyone and everyone involved with the Theatre has been willing and able to answer these questions.

â??Why does the Theatre need money now?â?

-In order to continue booking programming for next year, the Theatre needs to guarantee it has the financial support to honor the contractual agreements that come with those programs. The Board is taking this financial situation seriously, and does not want to enter in any contracts or promises that canâ??t be fulfilled if the Theatre is forced to shut down.

â??Why does the Theatre need so much money?â?

-The State Theatre Foundation is a registered 501(c)3, non-profit organization. Just like many other similar venues, the cost of ticket sales does not cover the operating budget. The organization needs the financial support of the community, businesses and government to stay open and continue providing arts programming to our community. This is the same model as national organizations such as PBS and NPR, it is not-at-all uncommon.

â??If I donate to the Theatre, and the doors close, wonâ??t my money be a waste?â?

-Absolutely not. We have all been reassured that should the Theatre not receive enough support from the community, all donations will be returned.

I have thought long and hard about my decision to speak up in favor of the Theatre. I do not take putting my name on something lightly, but the thought of losing this vital part of our community warrants my decision to voice my support. Our community needs access to the arts and our children need a place to listen, watch and interactively experience the rich culture that only a Theatre of this caliber can deliver. Itâ??s hard to express in words how grave a loss it would be for our State Theatre to go dark; it certainly would be hard to recover from the blow it would deliver to our community.

So please join me in supporting the Theatre. If you are able, please donate. Any amount will be helpful. If not, speak up about your support of the Theatre and encourage others to do the same. If you can do both, please do. I look forward to seeing our community rally together to support such a needed and valuable cause.

Kelsey Carlson
Owner, Green Roost