Create theatre in rust belt town

$2,415 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 34 people in 22 months
The Iron Horse Theatre Company is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization. We are in the process of renovating a charming old building in order to create a community theatre. Once the building is renovated, our nonprofit company will provide the community with opportunities to attend and perform in a variety of theatre productions. In addition to theatre, we are going to provide free or low cost lessons in art, photography, music, voice, dance, and even yoga.  Since this is a nonprofit organization run by volunteers, it is difficult coming up with the money to turn the building into something everyone in the community can be proud of. At this point we need 50,000 to finish the renovation work necessary to make this dream come true.  We would truly appreciate any help we can get in raising the funds needed to make this historical “rust belt” town a better place for its hard working residents.
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Veronica White created a promotional video for us. Check it out and let us know what you think. Thanks.
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The property at 348 Maplewood Avenue was built around 1900. The building was once a bar with a small apartment on the second floor. It was converted into a church, with both floors mostly open space for church services and bible school classrooms. The building was purchased from the church organization in April 2016 with the purpose of turning it into a community theatre and center for the arts. While the building’s structure is mostly intact, it is in major need of renovation. The plans for the interior include gutting the second floor space in order to create a large open floor area for a variety of arts programing. An additional bathroom will be added to the second floor along with a small bar in the back of the room. A refurbished baby grand piano (donated) will be placed on the second floor to be used for voice and music lessons. The second floor will also be used as an extension to the first floor lobby, and for private parties, meetings, and other events. Plans for the first floor include a 68 seat theatre with two additional spaces in the front row to accommodate patrons in wheelchairs. The theatre will have a large stage for full productions of plays, music, and lectures. The theatre will also have a sound and lighting control room, and a backstage dressing area with a bathroom. The first floor lobby area will include access to a remodeled ADA compliant bathroom. The lobby will also have a small bar to take and or sell tickets, and to serve refreshments during intermissions. The lobby area has an existing staircase that leads to the second floor. This will be utilized whenever additional lobby space is needed. The facade enhancement includes having the existing brick refurbished and painted. Corrugated metal will be installed halfway up on the face to give the building a modern industrial feel. The top half of the face will have painted brick, two new large windows that look into the second floor center for the arts, and a three-dimensional, metal Iron Horse Community Theatre and Center for the Arts sign above the windows near the top of the face. A metal awning and hanging-style light fixtures will be below the second floor windows in order to protect and light the front entrance. Three large windows that look into the first floor lobby, a metal door off to the left side of the facade, and a concrete ADA ramp with railing will be installed. The community’s response to the plans have been positive. The local restaurant owners welcome a local theatre that could bring in visitors who want to eat out before attending a show. Many downtown businesses also love the idea of having a convenient place to hold meetings and other events. The local high school has expressed interest in the project because of the potential for after school programs and senior projects. Even a nearby university (RMU) has expressed an interest in forming a partnership with the theatre and center for the arts.
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Good morning and happy New Year to all! I thought I would take a minute to update everyone on how the Iron Horse Community Theatre and Center for the Arts is progressing. First of all, our design plans have been completed and approved. We finally have our permit to begin work. I will be sending out another e-mail soon to inform everyone of the days and times the doors will be open for volunteers who are able and willing to work. There is so much to do and I need as many helping hands as I can get. Remember, this is our community theatre. I would like to invite all of you to please be a part of it in any way you can. You can volunteer to work one hour, or you can stay all day. Anything you can do is much appreciated. So look for my e-mail, put on some work cloths, grab a hammer and some work gloves, and come to the theatre to lend a helping hand.

To date we have collected over $5,300.00 in capital campaign donations (includes the money from Gofundme). That money allowed us to pay for the architectural designs and permit fees, repair the furnace, begin the refurbishing of the theatre chairs, and a few other necessary things. We currently have about $800.00 left. So, our next step is two-fold; raise the money to put on a new roof and do as much of the work on the inside as possible with volunteers. First, we really start in earnest to complete putting together the Founding 100. The Founding 100 is the first 100 businesses, organizations, foundations, and individuals that donate at least $300.00 each. The Founding 100 will be featured on our website and on a plaque on the front of the theatre forever. The Founding 100 will also be invited to the ribbon-cutting opening ceremony. This group will always be remembered as the group that believed in and supported the project from its inception. The money we raise from the Founding 100 will pay for the roof and the supplies the volunteers will need to work on the inside of the theatre. To date we have six Founding 100 sponsors. Please check out our website ( to see who they are, and encourage anyone you know who may be interested to become a Founding 100 sponsor. This is the most critical part on the process. The Founding 100 money, along with the volunteers will allow us to complete about 60 percent of the work.

Of course at some point the professionals will have to take over and complete the remaining work. This includes the façade, electrical, lighting and sound systems, plumbing, etc. This also means more money will be needed to complete the theatre and center for the arts. To raise this money we are planning an open-house event (more details to come) in the spring. This open-house event is to show some potential “big-money” sponsors the work and support of the community in the project. It is my belief that when they see all that we have done at that point, they will support us the rest of the way.

Please check out our website for the details of the work that has been done, and all the work that remains to be done. So, have a very happy New Year, and I very much look forward to working with you at the Iron Horse Community Theatre and Center for the Arts in the upcoming weeks and months ahead. – Sincerely, London Cain
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The Sewickley Herald featured our theatre company and project in a story today. It is a great article. Take a look at it by following this link:
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$2,415 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 34 people in 22 months
Created June 16, 2016
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8 days ago
Paul & Robbie Hertneky
3 months ago

Looks like you're making great progress. Keep up the good work -- a VERY important, hands-on community project in Ambridge. Thanks for believing in Bridgers!

5 months ago
Pat and Dan
11 months ago

Happy birthday, London! We know you're probably spending your birthday working on the theater--so hope this helps!

Samantha Story-Camp
12 months ago

Get it!! This is a cause I can get behind.

Heidi Miller
13 months ago

Good luck, London!

Jeff Fecko
15 months ago

Best of luck London!

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