Sunday, November 8, 2009

A launching at the Audi

If the business news gets you down, think of the story coming from the Concord City Auditorium. The Audi’s Friends have broken through the prevailing gloom to send off a cloud of butterflies, launching the theatre’s last major renovation effort – the Flyspace Project. They have contracted with the Sapsis Rigging Company to replace the “historic” hemp and pinrail with a modern mechanized system, making all the shows run more efficiently, effectively, and safely. The butterfly? It’s a symbol of the better “fly” planned for the Audi.
The Flyspace Project is budgeted at $200,000, and without any paid staff or tax dollars the Friends propose to raise the money in their time-honored way, "one brick at a time."
“Nobody can do a lot,” say Flyspace Co-chairs Dr. Merwyn Bagan and Dr. Charles “Joe” Ward, “but everybody can do a little. When a lot of us do a little, we’ll do a lot…we’ll fly! Just think of all the Friends have done in their 19 years, raising and investing over $1,000,000 in the city-owned theatre.”
The cloud of paper butterflies was sent off by a crowd of volunteers who gathered to mail news of the project to 5,000 local patrons.
“If everyone receiving this letter contributes $10, we’ll be close to our goal,” wrote Merwyn and Joe. “And, if some contribute more, we will reach the goal quickly.”
As an added incentive, they noted:
1) Every donor will be noted on a butterfly tag, and the tags will decorate the lobby walls this season. Thanks to the generous support of Southwest Airlines, at a special Springtime show one butterfly will be drawn to receive a special prize: two unrestricted roundtrip tickets. The “Share the Spirit” airline is sharing its community spirit with The Audi. Plus ...
2) An anonymous Challenger will match every gift made in 2009.
“It’s our Audi’s last really big project – upgrading the flyspace – and it’s a really big project,” says Abby Lange, President of The Friends of the Concord City Auditorium. “Over the years the people of Concord and the surrounding towns have shown their support and enthusiasm for community-based arts and entertainment by helping to restore and modernize the city’s historic theatre, always contributing “brick-by-brick." One last time, the Concord City Auditorium turns to its community for help, and every donation, small and large, is an important part of this project.”
Jeffrey Hoadley, the city’s Superintendent of Public Properties, adds that “once again, the unique partnership of the City of Concord and The Friends of the Audi will add value to one of Concord’s most important historical and cultural buildings – the City Auditorium. Upgrading the stage will provide a safe, more efficient rigging system capable of supporting more complex productions. These improvements should attract more presenters, which ultimately makes the shows affordable and accessible for all.”
Contributions may be sent to Friends of the Audi – Flyspace, PO Box 652, Concord, NH 03302. Information and donation forms are available online at For further information, please call 603-225-2164.

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