Jim Opdahl, treasurer of the Friends of the Wright Opera House, reported that nearly $55,000 has been raised in cash and pledges toward the purchase of the building.
“Purchasing the building is the first step in this process to develop the arts center, and we are grateful for the enthusiasm that has been shown for this project,” Opdahl said.
The intention of the Friends of the Wright Opera House is to eventually provide one of the premier performance venues in the region for use by local performers and touring groups, and to create a center for various arts and community groups.
“Arts center uses would be created in spaces not currently rented,” said Opdahl. “There are great tenants in the building who provide some favorite spots for local residents and visitors.”
The purchase price for the building is $1 million. Because of its historical significance, the condition of the building and its economic impact in the county, substantial grant money from several funding sources is anticipated to help with the purchase. However, all of the grants will require evidence of community commitment to the project.
Ralph Huesing, president of the Friends of the Wright Opera House, has been working with the various funding sources and he estimated that approximately $200,000 is needed to indicate the desired community support. A local pledge of $25,000 for purchasing the building is contingent on receiving a major grant expected from the Colorado Historic Society.
Several fundraisers are in the planning stages for the coming months, according to Boardmember Dee Williams. Other boardmembers are Tom Kenning and Nancy Nixon.
Historical and current information and photos of the Wright Opera House can be found at www.SaveTheWright.org. The site also includes projected long-term phases of improving the facility and how it can serve the community.
For information about making a contribution or a pledge, contact Opdahl at 325-4005.