Arts council kicks off annual Alhambra fundraiser

New Era archives

The annual fund drive for the Alhambra Theatre's operation costs is going on this month.

Several video clips are floating around Facebook of locals sharing why performing arts matter to them and why a viable arts scene should matter to the whole community.

The full video, titled Why the Arts Matter, is part of the Pennyroyal Arts Council's annual fund drive for the Alhambra Theatre.

"This is our primary means of raising funds for the arts council," said Executive Director Margaret Prim. "It's our largest opportunity for individuals to get involved. We thought it would be better to help tell our message with the people who help make up our message."

The video features local officials, such as Hopkinsville Mayor Carter Hendricks and Christian Fiscal Court Magistrate Darrell Gustafson; longtime patrons of the theater such as Imelda Gorman and Terry Lacy, and a few youngsters, such as Avery Pendleton, who was once a skunk in a show at the theater.

"If you're a skunk, you have to really act like a skunk," Avery quipped in her clip. "We learned cute songs, and we really, actually looked like skunks."

The Pennyroyal Arts Council hosts a variety of programs at the Alhambra Theatre, including school musical productions, science shows, concerts and storytelling programs, to name a few.

Christian County Public Schools Superintendent Mary Ann Gemmill said all ages benefit from the theater, whether they are participating in a show or watching from the crowd.

"I can't imagine the community without the Alhambra and the performing arts and the visual arts and the sponsorships for children who, otherwise, would not be a part of something that they will carry throughout their lives," Gemmill said in her snippet. "It will make them better citizens."

The fundraising goal is $60,000, which Prim said helps cover operational costs, such as utilities, maintenance and staff.

"We are in a wonderful position of having growing pains," she said. "We built it and now they're coming, so we need people to help us maintain it."

The Alhambra Theatre reopened late last fall, following an extensive renovation. The theater now features a broader entrance, art-deco style bathrooms and an elevator to a new second-floor space called The Hall that features a viewing room overlooking the theater, seating for up to 80 and a sleek full-service bar.

Prim said the arts council has a lot planned for the upcoming show season. A party for season ticketholders will be Aug. 1 and the season lineup will be announced.

Donations are suggested between $25 and $2,500 at the pennyroyalarts.org/give; however, Prim said every donation helps.

"It takes a lot of people to cumulatively help us make this goal," she said. "So, no gift is too small; time and talent is always needed."

Reach Zirconia Alleyne at 270-887-3243 or zalleyne@kentuckynewera.com.

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