Richland County Performing Arts Council, Inc. (RCPAC) is pleased to announce it has been awarded a prestigious Jeffris Family Foundation Challenge Grant in the amount of $404,667. The matching grant will assist in Phase One of the restoration of the Richland Center City Auditorium. To be received, RCPAC must raise $809,344 by June 2012. Additionally, RCPAC announces it has received a generous gift of $250,000 from the Joan Woodman Orton McCollum Foundation as a match for the Jeffris Grant toward the renovation of the City Auditorium.
RCPAC plans to create a self-sufficient cultural and business center in the City of Richland Center that will strengthen the economic and artistic growth of our community. Phase One of the renovation will focus on the restoration and reconfiguration of the front portion of the City Auditorium. It will include a replica of the original canopy, exterior lighting, interior lighting, the front entryway, along with the development of a mezzanine lobby space that is historically appropriate and true to the buildings decorative arts. Also included is the addition of accessible restroom facilities on all levels of the building, the repair of the roof and parapets, necessary electrical upgrades and air conditioning. Phase Two, which will begin once Phase One is completed, will focus on the theatre, including reconfiguration of the current seating, keeping the original decorative end standards and carved arm rests. It will also address necessary code compliance issues and mechanical upgrades. In Phase Three, RCPAC will complete the remainder of the building stabilization and install a new sound system, finish the theater upgrades and obtain state-of-the-art theatrical equipment. In Phase Four, a small addition will be added onto the Southeast corner of the building to provide an elevator and stairway for complete ADA access to all floors.
The Jeffris Family Foundation is a Wisconsin foundation dedicated to historic preservation. The foundation supports significant projects that strive for high preservation standards and show a strong degree of local support. Founded in Janesville in 1979, the Foundation makes annual grants to projects after a selection process. Past projects include the Villa Louis in Prairie du Chien, the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Seth Peterson Cottage on Mirror Lake near Lake Delton, and the Mabel Tainter Center for Performing Arts in Menomonie. Foundation President Thomas M. Jeffris said, “The members of the Richland County Performing Arts Council have demonstrated passion and wholehearted commitment to restoration of the City Auditorium. We are very pleased to partner with them.”
The Joan Woodman Orton McCollum Foundation carries out the vision of the late Joan Woodman Orton McCollum. Its primary purpose is to provide funds to deserving and qualifying educational and charitable organizations, primarily those serving the needs of persons residing in Richland County. Directors include Joseph Halverson, President of Halverson Accounting; Jeanette Kaderavek, and Judi Davis, President of Richland County Bank.
Richland County Performing Arts Council, Inc. recognizes the tremendous impact the women of Richland Center had in building the auditorium in 1912, as well as their impact in the nation-wide suffrage movement, and so an all-female team, the Women’s Leadership Committee, will head up the capital campaign. Members include Susan Calnin and Lee Honer as Co-chairs, along with Claudia Berres, Jean Birkett, Judi Davis, Carol Deckert, Sharon Schmitz, and Sheila Troxel. Additional members are being recruited. The committee will lead a group of additional volunteers in a campaign to match the Jeffris Family Foundation Challenge Grant by involving the entire community. Co-chair Susan Calnin said, “Together, we can provide new opportunities for businesses, civic events, and cultural affairs that benefit every person in Richland County.”