OURAY – Putting its money where its mouth is, the Ouray County community is showing that saving the Wright Opera House is "the Wright Thing to Do," as the campaign slogan urges. During a donor recognition event on Sunday evening, 150 supporters were informed that over $111,000 has been raised toward the goal of $200,000 needed by Sept. 1. The Friends of the Wright Opera House, who are attempting to save the building, hosted the event to thank over 70 donors who have come forward to support the project.
FWOH board members have begun writing grant proposals to funding agencies to help with the purchase of the building. Some of those will require approximately $200,000 in community support, and those applications should be submitted in September 2009 for funding in 2010. The purchase price of the Opera House is $1 million.
To help fundraise, FWOH is inviting interested persons for a tour of the building to see the spaces not usually seen by the general public and to envision the potential upgrades which will create a fully functioning performance facility and a center to serve the various arts organizations within the county. Any persons interested in personal tours should call Fundraising Chair Joyce Linn at 325-4235. She will arrange a small group or individual inspection of the entire building and proposed plans, and an explanation of the substantial tax benefits which come with donations of $50 to $100,000.
“It has been heart warming, instructive and amazing to us to realize how interested our community is in the project," says Linn. "People seem to want to be a part of saving this historic building and developing it to a fuller level of service for the future. As has been done with historic structures all over the country, this is indeed an example of bringing the history into the future through careful and caring adaptive rehabilitation."
Linn continues: "So far, the visions for potential future phases have caught the imagination of those who come inside and see what can be done. And, often, they have a few ideas to add to the vision.”
Next week supporters of The Wright can enjoy a benefit concert by the Diamond W Wranglers on Saturday, July 25. Information about concert tickets, as well as the pre-concert Chuck Wagon Dinner at the Secret Garden served by the musicians, is available by calling John Ast (325-7255), who is coordinating the benefit.