Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A soaring start and a second wind ...

“Wish by wish, brick by brick, we’ve checked off the Wish List, every big wish but one,” said Abby Lange, President of The Friends of The Concord City Auditorium, as she launched the Flyspace Project last November. “It’s time to ‘Come fly with us’ and grant the very last wish.”

UPDATE: 80 days later, more than $80,000 has been raised, with over 600 names on a donor list doubled by a special challenge to jumpstart the campaign. Ten “angels in the flyspace” have sponsored one of the 24 battens, at $1,000 each. Every dime is dedicated to the project, which has no administrative expenses except bulk postage. Every donor has a card posted in the Audi, and one lucky card will win an incentive prize donated by Southwest Airlines: two round trip tickets with no blackouts.
“Now the hard part begins,” Abby Lange says. “We have a way to go, especially in these economic times, to reach our goal by the project’s scheduled start on July 1, 2010. We’re thrilled that the community’s response has inspired a new boost to the Flyspace Project and I am delighted to announce:

A SECOND WIND! A Second Challenger has stepped forward offering to match all 2010 donations one for one, up to $50,000! Now every dollar becomes two, every ten becomes twenty, as we work to grant the Audi’s last wish.”

Backstory: In July 1991, members of 30 area arts groups met at the COMF with city officials and formed The Friends of The Audi. First they vowed to preserve the theatre and then they created a “Wish List” of projects to restore and upgrade the house. Over 19 years, “brick by brick”, the group has raised and invested over one million dollars in the public building, working as volunteers without any paid staff or tax dollars.
In November 2009, The Friends met again to check off the last item on the list – The Flyspace Project -- to mechanize the “historic” stage rigging and bring the 105-year old theatre into the 21st century. With modern rigging, all the shows will be presented more effectively, more beautifully, and especially more safely. Total budgeted cost: $200,000.
“Nobody can do a lot, but everybody can do a little,” The Friends said, repeating the group’s basic mantra. “And, when a lot of us to a little, we’ll do a lot!” In short order a logo, a flyer, and a staged announcement were created, and the Flyspace Project took off at the home of our community-based arts and entertainment.
The economy may be down, but the community’s own creative economy has soared with the Flyspace Project reaching a remarkable $80,000 in 80 days and continuing to fly with a strong second wind.

“COME FLY WITH US,” say the Friends of the Audi. “Lots of donations, small and large and all tax-deductible, will grant the Audi’s last big wish. Please send yours to Post Office Box 652, Concord, NH 03302.”

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