Save a Kentucky Treasure!!!!
Please help us get the word out by forwarding this message to as many people as you can.
Kentucky Repertory Theatre (formerly Horse Cave theatre) is fighting for its survival. Caught in this nation’s ever-tightening recession, this unusual, 33-year old, Equity (fully professional) Theatre located in rural, low-income Hart County, Kentucky, is struggling to meet its basic operating expenses and to maintain even a nucleus staff. As a result, the Theatre is mounting a “Save a Kentucky Treasure” Campaign to raise $350,000 before March 15, 2009 to support the Theatre’s basic operating expenses. The Theatre must meet this goal for its doors to remain open.
In 1977, when a group of visionaries first founded Kentucky Repertory Theatre (then known as Horse Cave Theatre), not many people believed that it would be possible to produce world class, Equity (fully professional) Theatre in Horse Cave. Ours is farming country. This tiny town is surrounded by cedar-covered hills and rolling pastures. Beneath them is a honeycomb of caves that have attracted tourists and spelunkers for over 150 years. But a theatre? Producing classic plays? Many doubted.
That was 33 years ago. Since then, Kentucky Repertory Theatre has produced season after season of great classic plays, the best new works, and an education program that now touches the lives of 15,000+ students from kindergarten through adult years annually, many of them with little to no exposure to live theatre and starved for creative outlets.
In 1977, most of Horse Cave’s historic downtown was composed of derelict buildings, several of them empty. Today that same area is a registered historic district with appealing shops and restaurants occupying carefully restored buildings. As the owner of five buildings in the historic district and the first organization to initiate adaptive re-use projects here, Kentucky Repertory Theatre is an important catalyst in the effort to save one of Kentucky’s very appealing small towns.
Now entering its 33rd year with a history of careful stewardship of its resources and a balanced budget, this remarkable Theatre suddenly finds itself in a serious financial shortfall brought on by the deepening recession. This fall, inflated gasoline prices pushed theatre attendance beyond the means of many of our patrons and nearly all schools. Several donors, even some long-term, major supporters, have notified us that they cannot contribute this year. As a result, we are seeing declines in both attendance and donations totaling $200,000 in lost income, nearly 1/3rd of our total budget. Most of this has occurred since September.
Kentucky Repertory Theatre fills a unique niche among American cultural assets. Please help this Theatre, identified by USA Today as one of “…10 great places to see the lights way off Broadway,” and recipient of Kentucky’s most significant award for arts organizations, Governor Steve Beshear’s 2008 Governor’s Award in Community Arts.
Contribute today to Kentucky Repertory Theatre’s “Save a Kentucky Treasure” campaign to raise $350,000 before March 15, 2009, a goal we must meet in order to fulfill our financial obligations, maintain a core staff, and mount another season. No gift is too large or too small. Your donation will truly make a difference.
Most sincerely, Mail checks to: Kentucky Repertory Theatre, P.O. Box 215, Horse Cave, Ky. 42749, or call 270-786-1200, or go to www.kentuckyrep.org.
Mary Margaret Villines For more information, see: http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20090201/SCENE05/902010333/1011/SCENE