OURAY – Music, theater, dance and film are on the entertainment menu for the Wright Opera House as its 2010 schedule unfolds. Various local organizations are filling the historic venue with events, proving the importance of having an arts facility to serve Ouray County.
Last month’s Western State College Dixieland Jazz Band concert and the Ouray County Performing Arts Guild-sponsored StoneCircle Celtic concert marked the beginning of a promising spring season at the opera house, with events on the calendar through May.
The Campaign to Save the Opera House – It’s the Wright Thing to Do! enters its second year of fundraising to purchase, preserve and update the historic structure. Friends of the Wright Opera House, the nonprofit organization formed to manage the campaign and the purchase, reports that despite their intention to close on the building in 2010, “the economic downturn has hindered our progress a bit,” according to FWOH Chair Dee Williams. “But it has not reduced our resolve.”
Although the community has contributed more than the $200,000 threshold needed to purchase the building, Colorado foundations have suffered losses in assets ranging from 27 to 55 percent, reducing their ability to meet the original grant projections for the Save the Opera House campaign.
“The campaign total is now $463,459 toward the $1 million asking price,” said Williams. “It is critical for the purchase to be in 2010 so that we can honor the many major pledges from individuals based on the tax benefits existing this year. We will resume our local fundraising with apologies to those who donated last year on the assumption that the first goal of $200,000 was the whole story for this phase. We will continue to work with the original granting foundations as their assets improve and will expand the scope of foundations from which we seek support.”
She continues, “We are mindful of the needs of the other local nonprofits and the fact that many of the donors to this project also heavily support those. We do not want to diminish their ability to continue their important missions. We are hopeful that the generous members of our community will be able to both continue that support and answer our additional appeal.”
Meanwhile, the FWOH Board sees the increasing activity at the Opera House as validation of the premise that the venue can and will serve the community well in the future, especially when the facility is upgraded. “It will add a different dimension to the venues currently available, one that serves a different need,” Williams observed.
Weehawken Creative Arts currently manages the performance/meeting space and handles requests to schedule the facility.
Spring bookings include the following: April 9 – Ouray Movie Club presentation
April 17 – Trace Bundy, Acoustic Guitar Concert presented by the Ouray County Performing Arts Guild
April 23 – Ouray Movie Club presentation
April 25 – Montrose Community Band Sunday Afternoon Spring Concert
May 1 & 2 – Eleemosynary by Timshel Theater Co.
May 7 – Valley Youth Symphony Concert
May 14-16 – The Golden Ticket (Willie Wonka), Weehawken Dance
A full and evolving 2010 schedule of Wright Opera House events can be found on the website www.SaveTheWright.org. Contact Ashley King at 318-0150 to book an event.