ORPHEUM CHILDRENS SCIENCE MUSEUM INC via Crowdrise
August 18, 2011
BENEFITING: ORPHEUM CHILDRENS SCIENCE MUSEUM INC
The vision guiding this campaign is for the Orpheum Theatre to serve as a hub for local, youth-oriented programming in the sciences and arts including: exhibitions, productions, performances, and events, by providing an accessible space that enables expansive, inclusive programs.
The Theatre represents nearly 80% of the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum’s square footage. Without affordable heat, a serviceable floor, fire safety equipment, and a stage suitable for occupancy, this majestic relic languishes, unable to contribute to the mission of the Museum or the needs of the community.
Reclaiming this space transforms the Theatre into a productive asset, quadrupling the Museum’s capacity for productions, events, and exhibitions; reinstating an iconic structure that has colored the community’s identity for a century, and restoring this heirloom to its status as a cultural centerpiece with an expanded role and impact on the overall health of the community. Acting as force multiplier in revitalizing downtown Champaign, the renovated theater will enhance the Museum’s ability to serve as a community center, bringing youth and families downtown to learn and play together.
Acting on behalf of, and with the support of the greater Champaign, Ford, Vermillion, Piatt, Douglas, Coles, and Edgar County communities, the Campaign to Rescue and Restore the Orpheum Theatre will raise $2,350,000 to (a) rehabilitate and preserve the Orpheum’s historic architecture, currently vulnerable to deterioration; (b) heat, cool, and ventilate the space; (c) outfit the theater’s “house” to accommodate accessible, extensible, multipurpose configurations; (d) retrofit the space with a modern, operable stage including rigging, lighting, and a sound system; and (e) install a comprehensive fire safety system.
This project represents a commitment to the economic vitality of the greater East-Central Illinois community, its quality of life, families, and youth. In renovating the Orpheum Theatre, regional citizens will contribute to a national movement aimed at preserving community heritage and bolstering science and arts education.
The Orpheum Theatre, housed within at the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum, has been an important part of the greater East-Central Illinois community for nearly 100 years and, with a coalition of support from the community, corporate partners, private patrons, and governmental agencies, it will continue to make a substantial contribution to the community’s vibrant future. Recognized and protected as an historical, architectural, and cultural landmark, the Theatre is an emblem of the area’s heritage. To continue in its noble tradition, the theater requires a substantial investment. This help will enable the Orpheum to extend its reign into the 21st century.