RANGELEY – The Rangeley Friends of the Arts recently received an anonymous challenge donation for improvements to its newly-acquired Lakeside Theater in the heart of downtown. An anonymous donor has offered to match the first $10,000 in local donations for building improvements.
Built as a downtown cinema over 25 years ago, much of the original interior needs change in order to become a fully functioning community arts center. In 2014, the RFA, with the help of volunteers and donors, upgraded the electrical system and stage lighting, expanded the stage, created back-stage and storage spaces, painted the exterior and began adjusting acoustics to insure better sound for both movies and for live performances. As a result of the improvements, RFA produced more live events and added another week of summer drama camp. These changes brought more people into town, RFA maintains, generating business for local merchants before and after the events.
The $10,000 challenge donor will match up to $10,000 in local donations specifically for building improvements. The funds will be used to improve the lobby and concession areas in 2015. The improved space will be used as gallery exhibit space, workshops and receptions and will be available for rent by local organizations or individuals. The three year plan includes upgrading the sound system, changing the existing projection room (located between the lobby and the theater) into a multi-function space that could be used for camps, workshops, or additional raked seating. All of these improvements will mean more daytime and evening classes, workshops, and live performances.
For information or to make a donation, contact RFA, PO Box 333, Rangeley, ME 04970 or www.rangeleyarts.org.