The Mountain Times

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Pentangle Arts receives cultural facilities grant for Woodstock Town Hall Theatre

WOODSTOCK - Pentangle Arts has been awarded a Cultural Facilities Grant from the Vermont Arts Council, in support of critical repairs to the Woodstock Town Hall Theatre's lighting, rigging, and curtain systems. The Cultural Facilities Grant program is administered by the VAC in conjunction with the Vermont Historical Society and the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation.
Pentangle's grant award, one of just 12 in the state and the only award in Windsor County, provides funding in the amount of $16,000. The grant award requires a one-to-one fundraising match and supports a three-pronged project with a total price tag of approximately $32,000.  Pentangle has already raised over $10,000 towards the $16,000 matching campaign goal, including 100% participation by the Board of Trustees as well as generous early contributions from supporters in the community.

Plans are to complete the work before the end of the calendar year, pending successful fundraising to meet the match target.
"We are so grateful for the VAC's recognition of the Woodstock Town Hall Theatre as an important cultural resource for the Upper Valley," notes Pentangle Executive Director Sunni Fass, "and we are deeply appreciative of all of the donors who have stepped up already to take a leading role in keeping the Theatre up and running by making contributions towards the match.  We hope that others who love the Theatre will be interested in joining the effort and helping us to close the short distance remaining."

Improvements to the Woodstock Town Hall Theatre will include replacing aging overhead rigging systems with synthetic line and enhance rigging anchor points; replacing most of the Theatre's 25-year-old damaged stage curtains with new IFR (Inherently Flame Retardant) draperies, and replace 68 obsolete or unusable lighting instruments with functional and more energy-efficient equipment.

"An important part of Pentangle's mission is stewardship of the Woodstock Town Hall Theatre," continues Fass, "and there are ongoing challenges in maintaining this kind of historic space. The repairs supported by this grant may not always stand out to the average patron enjoying a show, but they're essential to keeping the Theatre safe and fully functional for the performers, technicians, and audiences who use the venue on an ongoing basis." 

The proposed improvements will also enhance programming options by providing expanded technical capacity.

The Cultural Facilities Grant program is one the VAC's most significant funding programs and awards are intended to help Vermont nonprofit organizations and municipalities enhance, create, or expand the capacity of an existing building to provide cultural activities for the public.

"What sets this grant program apart from other grants the Council awards," said Alexander L. Aldrich, Executive Director of the Vermont Arts Council, "is that the money goes to the most critical and yet most often invisible aspects of cultural activities.

Audiences expect facilities to be accessible; they expect lighting, sound, and projection systems to work; and they expect their venues to stay on top of the latest technological developments-all without creating a negative impact on the overall aesthetic expectations they have. The organizations receiving funding in this category have demonstrated a critical need and have the know-how and cultural background to make the most of this opportunity to ensure that, going forward, Vermont audiences will enjoy their programs for years to come."

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