GUEST COMMENTARY: Discover Memorial Opera House in downtown Valpo

2013-06-23T00:00:00Z GUEST COMMENTARY: Discover Memorial Opera House in downtown ValpoBy Michelle Smith
June 23, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Since being appointed the new business director of Memorial Opera House in Porter County, I have found many people are unaware of its existence.

This historic theater, a living memorial to the Civil War, is 120 years old this year and has been on the National Registry of Historic Places since May 24, 1984.

The staff, volunteers and actors mount seven theatrical productions each year, while also providing the community access to concerts, orchestras, plays, stand-up comedy, lunchtime cabarets, children’s theater camps and advanced theater/dance classes. We are bringing the arts of a big city to your back yard.

This past year has ushered in a new staff and an exciting venture for all of us. With limitless artistic energy and an unfailing belief in the value of the Opera House, we have streamlined operations in each area of the theater: increasing our efficiency, decreasing our costs and offering more programming to the community.

And this new programming has connected us with new community partners in both advertising and sponsorship. Several companies that have never before supported Memorial Opera House are stepping forward to provide financial support.

Furthermore, the new staff, with the much needed help of Porter County, has fulfilled our promise to begin long overdue renovations of Memorial Opera House and reboot The Memorial Opera House Foundation to continue on our road of self-sufficiency in our programming and operations. Already, the Memorial Opera House Foundation has helped us launch a new annual membership fund, garnering 160 new members and raising more than $10,000 in two months.

In 2013, Porter County should continue to repair and maintain the Opera House as one of its assets, but all of the operating expenses incurred will be paid from the revenue generated by the Opera House itself and from the donations given to the foundation.

It is, without a doubt, a promising start. And we think it is time for Memorial Opera House to be known in your home, on your street, in your town and throughout Indiana. Come join us and see for yourself how we are spotlighting history, community and the arts.

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