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KC Rep Receives Lead Gift For Renovation Project

Helix Architecture + Design

The Kansas City Repertory Theatre on Wednesday announced $3 million from the Hall Family Foundation, the largest gift in the company's history. The funds will support the renovations of the Spencer Theatre and its lobby in James C. Olson Performing Arts Center on the UMKC campus.

The center was completed in 1979. The Rep's artistic director, Eric Rosen, said the stage is ready for an upgrade as the company marks its 50th year.

"Now is the best time to create a frame for the works of art that we create, to contextualize the Rep's local, regional, and national significance, and to create the best possible space to engage our extraordinary and diverse audience," Rosen said in a release.

Credit Helix Architecture + Design
This rendering shows the proposed exterior of the lobby, which includes "a striking modern facade."

Rep officials say a total of $5 million dollars must be raised by December 31 to begin the project. If the fundraising goal is met, construction would begin in the summer of 2015. It's expected to be completed before the seasonal production of A Christmas Carol. 

About half of the renovation costs, $2.4 million, would add a modern facade to the building, create storage space and add restrooms. The remainder of the budget would renovate the interior of the lobby, and add new lighting, new acoustics and a new stage floor to the theater.

In addition to the lead gift for the Rep's renovations, the Hall Family Foundation also committed $2 million for UMKC Department of Theatre scholarships and $600,000 to support plays produced by the company.

Kansas City is known for its style of jazz, influenced by the blues, as the home of Walt Disney’s first animation studio and the headquarters of Hallmark Cards. As one of KCUR’s arts reporters, I want people here to know a wide range of arts and culture stories from across the metropolitan area. I take listeners behind the scenes and introduce them to emerging artists and organizations, as well as keep up with established institutions. Send me an email at lauras@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @lauraspencer.
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