20 Jan Nonprofit Spotlight – Whitefish Theatre Company
Whitefish Theatre Company “Act 2” Expansion
The I.A. O’Shaughnessy Center opened in 1998 and has served the community well, providing space not only for WTC productions, but for various community events as well. Over the past 16 years, the community and patronage have grown, along with rental demands and theatrical offerings. Even the staff and number of volunteers has increased.
In short, the Whitefish Theatre Company is bursting at its seams and much of this is due to its own success. In need of additional space, WTC embarked on a 5-year “Raise The Curtain on Act 2” capital campaign in 2012 aimed at renovating and expanding the O’Shaughnessy Center in 3 phases.
Several successful milestones have already been reached. WTC secured essential grants, including a $250,000 matching grant from the O’Shaughnessy Foundation, which allowed them to complete Phase I of the capital campaign. Phase I was completed in 2013 and allowed for full upgrades of the main stage space of the facility with new seats, paint, sound panels, and carpet.
More recently, WTC received a $250,000 challenge grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust in 2014 and they are currently raising funds to match that gift.
With this award, WTC has raised 91% of the funding required to move forward with Phase II of the project. Plans for Phase II include adding the Carolyn Pitman Community Room (multipurpose room for community use), a conference room for community and WTC meetings, storage for the movable units of the new seating system, and handicapped accessible men’s and women’s bathrooms. A second floor addition will also expand on-site storage for WTC’s overflowing collection of costumes and props.
It is WTC’s hope to create a future space that allows them more elbow room and efficiency for their own rehearsals, meetings, and events, as well as additional and reliable space that they can offer to other community organizations.
WTC remains vigilant in their fundraising, as they move toward Phase III of the “Act 2” capital campaign that will redesign the lobby for the comfort of their patrons.