Letter: Sidestepping the State Theatre challenge

I would like to address a press release the Culpeper Town Council had published in the Dec. 18 edition of the Culpeper Times newspaper. â??Culpeper Town Council encourages your support of the State Theatreâ?

That headline alone is a red flag for sidestepping the issue. Of course Town Council wants your support; as the State Theatre has operated for â??the greater goodâ? of this community. Besides â??supportâ? how else is Town Council planning to help?

The article also goes on to mention â?â?¦the State Theatre has become a vital source of educational programs and activities for the youth in the areaâ? and â??noted as bringing thousands of people to the core retail and restaurant area in Downtown Culpeper.â?

The article lists many more examples as to how the State Theatre plays a â??vitalâ? role to enhance the â??quality of lifeâ? for not only town residents, but â??for all within our community as well as being an important economic anchor.â? Those are very strong arguments for keeping the doors open and seats filled.

If Town Council feels so strongly about the State Theatre and its benefits for the community who elected them, why isnâ??t this Council stepping up to make any sort of tangible difference? More than 200 of your town residents have contributed their hard-earned money to Saving the State; itâ??s now on you to bring this home.

If you need examples of how a public/private venture such as this can be successful, please look at the Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia and the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, Virginia.

Please act fast and figure this out. Again, this is what you were elected to do. Even if you donâ??t personally agree with the Theatre and what it stands for, you have a responsibility to the community to look out for its â??greater good.â?

December 31st is rapidly approaching; holidays further truncating the timeline. The ball is in your court, Town Council. Tick Tockâ?¦Tick Tockâ?¦

Joseph R. Wills
Culpeper Resident and Fan of the State Theatre