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New Hampshire State Council on the Arts Awards Grant to The Park Theatre

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The grant award is made possible by appropriations from the National Endowment for the Arts to the New Hampshire State Council.

New Hampshire State Council on the Arts Awards Grant to The Park Theatre

The New Hampshire State Council on the Arts has awarded The Park Theatre a New Hampshire CARES Act Grant. The grant award is made possible by appropriations from the National Endowment for the Arts to the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts through the federal CARES Act, and supports salary and facilities costs of nonprofit cultural organizations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding recognizes that the nonprofit arts industry is an important sector of New Hampshire's economy and that financial support is necessary to help save jobs and keep operations functioning for organizations that add value to the creative life of our communities.

Established in 1965 as the official state arts agency, the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts has worked throughout the state to promote the arts and to protect and enrich New Hampshire's unique quality of life. The Park Theatre, built in 1922, was the entertainment center of community life for 3 generations. Re-opened, the Theatre will be a regional center for the arts and entertainment, a meeting place for the community and a dynamic force in the region's economic vitality and quality of life.

"The grant support from the New Hampshire Council on the Arts is most welcome," noted Caroline Hollister, Board President. "The delay in opening has given the project extra needed time, but also put a strain on finances. We all are grateful to the Council for lending a very meaningful helping hand at exactly the right moment."

Reconstruction of the historic Theatre has been underway since New Year's Eve 2018 with a planned 2020 opening. Since major construction was completed in April, the current focus is on the final furnishings so the building may open to the public when permitted. Wright Painting has recreated the 1922 auditorium, with wood paneling provided by Belletetes Inc. completing the original appearance. While adhering to the essential elements of the 1922 theater, comfort and function will be improved with roomier 24" seats on a retractable frame that will allow for multiple uses of the main William David Eppes Auditorium. The upstairs auditorium, named in honor of film historian and Board Member Michael B. King, overlooks the picturesque Town Common and will provide more intimate space for smaller events and gatherings. The building is fully ADA compliant with an elevator to all levels, a lift to the main stage and 7 bathrooms located throughout the facility.

When open, The Park Theatre will present a variety of films and programs in two auditoriums seating nearly 450 patrons. The Theatre is committed to affordable programs for veterans and older residents as well as children and their families along with matinees and 'early bird' shows. With a projected 500 people a week coming into downtown Jaffrey to attend programs at The Park Theatre, Board President Hollister said "the Theatre has the capacity to bring over $600,000 a year into the Town with patrons' purchases of fuel, meals and local store offerings."

For more information about The Park Theatre, please visit theparktheatre.org.


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