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Burlington’s Capitol Theater launches capital campaign

Courtesy photo
Capitol Theater
Burlington's Capitol Theater is launching a $2.5 million capital campaign.

A $2.5 million dollar capital campaign will complete renovations of the Capitol Theater’s annex building – and broaden the theater’s impact through educational programming.

Executive Director Tammy McCoy now heads the Capitol Theater after successfully leading the Art Center of Burlington for years.

She told the Burlington City council this week the theater’s mission has three main pillars – entertainment and social connection, which the theater already provides, and now education.

To achieve that third pillar, the theater wants to provide performing arts instruction for residents in Burlington and the surrounding area.

“Our campaign is currently called ‘The Dream Behind the Curtain’ because we are really focusing on encouraging creativity and encouraging being able to pursue those careers that are in the performing arts,” McCoy said.

McCoy said she wants to change the direction of the theater to ensure its viability, a decade after it reopened after being shuttered since 1977.

The Art Deco theater was built in 1937, and it reopened in 2012 following a widespread community effort to fund renovations, but has faced some financial turbulence since then.

For this round of updates, McCoy said the theater is aggressively pursuing state grants for as much as $1.5 million, in order to limit the necessary investment from local entities.

But McCoy said it’s important to have the city’s financial investment in the project to show local support.

The theater has asked the city to contribute $75,000, payable over three years.

Among the renovations to be funded by this campaign are a black box theater and recording rooms.

The name of the facility will also be changed to the Capitol Performing Arts Center.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Jane Carlson covers west central Illinois and southeast Iowa for Tri States Public Radio.