The State Theatre building, which has been closed for 27 years, is inching toward reopening. We can’t wait to open the front doors for movies, performances, receptions, meetings and other events. However, there’s work left to do before the historic building becomes available for public use again.
In recent years, fundraising and construction to restore the magnificent structure have never really stopped. More than $3.5 million has been raised and spent to save the 91-year-old gem and begin restoration work.
The leaky roof was replaced, and building Infrastructure was updated. In addition, the lobby, restrooms and Marquee have been renovated. We’re ready to accelerate work on the stage, orchestra and balcony areas.
We’re in the early stages of developing plans for the next big phase of fundraising. Our Board of Directors has taken major steps to position the State Theatre for a big final push of renovation work.
Most recently, we retained Brian Bonde, a national expert and highly regarded professional fundraiser from Sioux Falls. He will assist us with the campaign. Brian has been helping organizations in the nonprofit sector raise money and train leaders for more than 30 years.
He has helped organizations raise more than $100 million. He is one of only 106 fundraising professionals in the world who have earned the designation of Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive from the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
We’re thrilled to have Brian on board to help us implement the State Theatre fundraising campaign.
Earlier this year, we also added a full-time employee to help keep our nonprofit company organized and on task. We welcomed Allison Weiland, a South Dakota native with experience in business and the arts, to the staff in April as the development coordinator, and she’s doing a great job!
If you haven’t met Allison, you might want to stop by the State Theatre during the next First Friday event in downtown Sioux Falls. Typically, she’s greeting guests and giving building tours from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. during First Friday festivities, which are monthly celebrations promoted by the booster organization Downtown Sioux Falls Inc.
With help from Brian, Allison and other supporters of the State Theatre, members of our Board will be reaching out to the community more visibly for help in coming months. It shouldn’t be a hard sell. The State Theatre is a wonderful community asset. It opened gloriously in 1926, closed unceremoniously in 1990, and is being prepared to provide the Sioux Falls area a second century of great service.
If you’d like more information or want to help, call the office at 605-335-5757. I also encourage you to check out our website periodically for news and updates. See www.siouxfallsstatetheatre.org.