Salt River Arts Society receives a matching grant to renovate Ford Theatre in Afton
The Salt River Arts Society announced it has received a matching grant that will require fundraising help from the public in order to renovate the Ford Theatre in Afton.
President of the Board of the Directors for the group, James Arbizu, says it applied for the grant in conjunction with the Star Valley Arts Council.
“It’s basically to fix one of our biggest issues we have which is our lighting and sound,” Arbizu said. “We basically got the bare minimum up, but it’s not to professional standard.”
He says that it will take about $70,000 to meet those standards without being extravagant. It only received a portion of the funds and will need to raise an additional $30,000. He says one way it hopes to accomplish this is allow the public to purchase a sponsorship on the seat.
“For $250 you’ll get that recognition,” Arbizu said. “Also, you’ll help upgrade the theatre there so it’s usable for theatrical performances. We have some great stuff planned.”
He says there is no timeline to raise the funds necessarily, but the Arts Society is looking to make a major push for it this summer. The way to purchase a seat is go to saltriverarts.com and click on the “Sponsor a Seat” donation.
Arbizu says it will also look to improve the lobby, add some bathrooms on the ground floor for ADA, and renovate the face of the building. He also says if it cannot get the matching donations then it will be much harder to get grants in the future.
“We’ll be able to do everything we can with that money,” Arbizu said. “But, I’m hopeful we’ll be able to meet that grant.”
He says it will start by doing basic replacements like microphones and lights will get replaced in July or August. Then as funds come in it will fill in the rest. Director of the Star Valley Arts Council Tim Hale says it has positioned itself to serve the arts across the valley.
“We, of course, saw a great opportunity to work with the Salt River Arts Society,” Hale said. “To bolster the Ford Theatre, this amazing, unique, nostalgic theatre that we all know and love.”