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|Public Affairs Show Taps Orpheum Theatre for Feature
|The Orpheum Theatre will be featured on Peoria WTVP Channel 47's local public affairs program, "At Issue," hosted by series producer H. Wayne Wilson.
The show will air Thursday, January 7th at 7:30 p-m and will repeat Sunday, January 10th at 4:30 p-m.
Orpheum president Kate Francis was approached in mid-December by Wilson to appear on the weekly program which addresses economic development, neighborhood revitalization, joint cooperation between governmental units, educational initiatives, the arts and other topics deemed pertinent to Central Illinois.
"Shortly after the Civic Center Authority re-assumed managerial control of the Orpheum in 2000, Mr. Wilson produced a documentary entitled 'The Orpheum Theatre: Balancing Money and Memories' in which several board members were interviewed," said Francis.
"Appearing on 'At Issue' is an opportunity to bring viewers up-to-date on the Orpheum Theatre's artistic, fundraising and programming progress; the theater's economic and cultural impact in the surrounding community; as well as the operational changes enacted to ensure this rural performing arts and entertainment venue remains viable and successfully navigates this recession."
In 2009, the Orpheum Theatre pursued a $500,000 federal grant in an attempt to offset $1 million in proposed repairs to the nearly century old building which has not seen significant capital investment since a $2.5 million renovation in 1988. The grant application was not successful, but the Orpheum Theatre received $250,000 in matching commitments from local organizations as well as nearly $14,000 in designated funds from individuals and businesses to assist with the building's refurbishment.
"The Orpheum Theatre's opportunities and challenges certainly aren't unique, but recent efforts to address the challenges and capitalize on the opportunities have gone beyond the customary," continued Francis. "The theater's operational growth and heightened public awareness in the past three years have translated to 102% increase in contributed income, 68% increase in earned rental income, 300% increase in education programming attendance, 61% increase in annual attendance and a balanced operating budget projected for 2009 despite one of the worst economic downturns."
Recent "At Issue" guests have included U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, National Endowment for the Arts chairman Rocco Landesman as well as astronaut and Pekin native Scott Altman.
Galesburg was most recently featured on "At Issue" in February 2008 when the City's economic development director Cesar Suarez, former GREDA vice president Linda Utsinger and Carl Sandburg College president Tom Schmidt discussed Galesburg's economic development efforts.
"It's an honor for the Orpheum Theatre to be featured on this well-respected public affairs program," Francis said.
(Submitted by the Orpheum Theatre)
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