Contact: Debra J’Anthony, Executive Director 413.584.9032 x102
Last October, the Academy of Music Theatre’s Board of Directors challenged the community to participate in its First Ever Capital Campaign by raising $100,000 geared specifically to improve the theatergoers’ experience. We are pleased to report that local individuals and institutions exceeded our expectation by giving over $155,000, surpassing the goal by over 50%.
Andrew Crystal, Board President, said that he is “heartened by the support and interest the community has shown in this project. During the campaign, many community members toured the Academy learning its history, feeling its deep roots in the arts, and seeing for the first time how some of the original interior of the building will be brought to life. New seating, aisle lighting and a complete theater restoration will make great performances even better,” reports Crystal.
All of the decorative plaster will be repaired, the auditorium walls and ceiling will be repainted in a color palette inspired by the original color scheme, the floors will be refinished,historically appropriate lighting fixtures will be installed, and all 800 seats will be replaced for the first time in decades.
“Before last fall, we began raising the necessary dollars to make the current repairs,” explains Debra J’Anthony, the Academy’s Executive Director. “We are very grateful to the Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Community Preservation Act, and the City of Northampton for providing a total of over $500,000 to make many of the capital improvements. However, we still needed additional funding to complete these improvements, so we went directly to the community.”
“Over the last few years,” says J’Anthony, “the Academy’s mission has been re-defined; its roots as an arts and educational institution have been reclaimed; and its operations improved, resulting in a stronger financial operating position. However, the building, which holds much local history, was in desperate need of essential repairs and other improvements to enhance the theatergoers’ experience. Because of the generous support from our community, our dreams will now become reality.”
The Academy will have its grand re-opening on October 17th, after a two-month shutdown necessary to make these extensive renovations, with yet another “first”: the World Premiere of Nobody’s Girl, the Academy’s first ever commissioned theatrical production, scheduled to show off the splendor of the newly renovated theater.