Rep exceeds capital campaign goal | Arkansas Blog

Monday, January 31, 2011

Rep exceeds capital campaign goal

Posted By on Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 1:41 PM

The Rep announced today that it exceeded its $5.4 million, four-year capital campaign plan. Which means that it raised enough to receive a $600,000 Challenge Grant from The Kresge Foundation, bringing the grand total to $6,043,384. Pretty impressive considering the theater had to also raise $1.5 million annually, throughout the last four years, just to support its regular operations.

The theater will use the funds to update the lobby, add seating, expand the restrooms and update the private party room.

The Rep will close on July 1 for renovations and reopen after Labor Day.

See the full release on the jump.

Contact: Angel Galloway
Director of Communications & Marketing
Arkansas Repertory Theatre
601 Main Street, Little Rock, AR
(501) 378-0445 ext. 125

January 31, 2011


Theatre raises $6,043,384 during challenging economy to renovate downtown facilities

(Little Rock, Arkansas) — Arkansas Repertory Theatre is ending its capital campaign on January
31, having exceeded its goal of $5.4 million and securing a $600,000 Challenge Grant from The
Kresge Foundation.

“Over the past four years, we've raised $5,443,384 in gifts and pledges, plus Kresge Foundation's
challenge grant for the last $600,000, surpassing our $6 million goal,” said Producing Artistic
Director Bob Hupp. “We are pleased to announce renovations to the public spaces will begin July

Hupp says many key donors have contributed a second time to the campaign to reach this goal.
The Murphy match got the campaign off the ground in 2008, and Chip and Cindy Murphy doubled
their original gift to give the campaign a boost in its final phase. In addition to numerous private
donations, funding also came from the Little Rock Advertising and Promotion Commission.

“The Little Rock community really stepped up in these past two weeks,” Hupp says. “The
outpouring of support has been exceptional as we worked to raise the final dollars necessary to
achieve the Kresge Foundation challenge.”

A total of 311 people donated to the renovation campaign, with the average gift to the campaign
reaching $19,293, according to Capital Campaign Consultant Ashley Coldiron.

“We have been fortunate to have an incredibly supportive and generous board of directors and a
capital campaign committee that just hasn’t given up,” Hupp says. “The campaign could not have
been completed without the support and generosity of our patrons, our donors and our community.”

Mary Steenburgen and Ted Danson are the honorary chairmen for the capital campaign, in addition
to executive leaders Barbara Bova, Lee Brown and Brian Bush. Helen Buchanan, Chuck Cliett, Bob
East, Catherine Hughes, Wilson Jones, Chip Murphy, Cindy Murphy, Bill Rector, Rett Tucker, Kaki
Hockersmith, Ruth Shepherd, Steve Strickland, Laura Landreaux, Annamary Thompson and Adam
Melton complete the capital campaign cabinet.

The final phase of renovations will address the lobby spaces, adding seating, expanding the rest
rooms and updating The Rep’s private party room, Club Mezz, which will be renamed in honor of
Vince Foster, former chairman of The Rep Board of Directors.

The auditorium, which will be named in honor of Cindy Murphy, will get upgrades to lighting,
sound and technology, adjusted sight lines and all new theatre seating. The addition of around 40
seats are being planned, and both mezzanines are slated to have table seating patrons can reserve.
The theatre will close on July 1 and reopen after Labor Day.

Capital campaign donors still have the unique opportunity to purchase a seat in the newly renovated
auditorium, featuring a personalized gold plaque with donor recognition. Naming opportunities
throughout the theatre are also still available. More information regarding naming a seat or naming
opportunities throughout the theatre can be found by contacting The Rep’s administration offices at
(501) 378-0445.

The building at 601 Main Street is owned, maintained and cared for by Arkansas Repertory Theatre,
which is solely responsible for its upkeep. The theatre was last renovated when it was turned from
an empty downtown department store into a theatre more than twenty years ago, in 1989.

“One of the greatest challenges in this campaign has been maintaining the support we need on an
annual basis while we’ve raised money for the renovation campaign,” Hupp says. “The Rep needs
to raise over $1.5 million annually to create the work you see on our stage and support our outreach
and education programs, so this had to be ongoing while we worked to raise the $6 million for the
renovations that the theatre so desperately needed.”

“The Rep’s amazing success in meeting their $6 million capital campaign goal while raising
over a million dollars a year for operating expenses is an inspiration,” says Kathy Webb, State
Representative, District 38. “I commend the community for rising to the occasion and making the
renovations to The Rep a reality during a period when arts organizations across the country are
shutting their doors to lack of donor support. It’s a pleasure to see Arkansans support the arts in our
community and with their generosity, The Rep will remain one of Little Rock’s great destinations.”

The Rep, the state’s largest non-profit professional theatre, publicly launched its capital campaign
in 2008. With leadership from project architect Terry Rasco of Witsell, Evans, Rasco, contractors
Bob East of East Harding Construction and Charles Marratt of C/M Restoration & Remodeling,
previous renovations have included replacing the building’s leaky roof and old, inefficient HVAC
units, repairing the exterior walls on the east side of the building, replacing the crumbling ceilings in
the dressing rooms as well as installing a stable subfloor in the first floor shop area where the hand-
crafted stage designs and props are built and assembled.

A new freight elevator was also installed, replacing the oldest operational freight elevator in the
state of Arkansas and connecting it for the first time in the theatre's history to the basement dressing
rooms. Upgrades to the sole passenger elevator and the fire alarm system were also made. The total
cost of these improvements was just under $1 million.

“Those accomplishments, along with completed renovations of our artists' apartment building and
the acquisition and renovation of our new scenic shop (a total expenditure of $3.4 million) mean the
gifts that have been donated have already made a tremendous difference in the life of the theatre,”
said Hupp.

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