FACT SHEET: The Loft, The Center for Performing Arts & Education
Treasure the Future
Campaign for The Music Hall
With the 2008 purchase and coming fit-up of the raw space at 131 Congress Street, The Music Hall will advanced its Outreach and Education programs. The Center for Performing Arts and Education (aka The Loft) will be a flexible space that will fulfill the needs outlined in The Music Hall’s Strategic Plan for 2009-2014. The opening of The Loft will not just enhance our community outreach, but offer additional revenue opportunities and maximize operational effectiveness – a critical step in shifting The Music Hall to a sustainable business model. This new space will stabilize The Music Hall and expand opportunities in three main areas: The Loft will house The Music Hall’s professional staff, providing for the first time ever “owned” office space, saving the organization nearly $40,000 annually in rent. The Loft’s classroom-theater will also provide new capacity for The Music Hall’s Community Partners and Masters in Learning programs; additionally it will allow for presentation of programs in a cost-effective manner. The new space on Congress Street offers The Music Hall a visible storefront in Portsmouth, and provide its patrons educational opportunities more typically available in major urban centers. A series of input sessions with community members, board, staff, and stakeholders have pinpointed the need for a space that, in contrast to the historic theater, is intimate – with “broken down walls” between performer and artist, teacher and student. Less formal, less traditional than the historic theater, The Loft will be a dynamic center for collaboration and education. In design, spirit, and programming it will be an urban hive of activity, a place of energy and social interaction in which everyone feels a sense of belonging and participating. The Loft will bring new transparency to the work of The Music Hall and the powerful impact of the arts on our community. Programming at the Loft will be educational, entertaining and diverse, furthering The Music Hall’s mission and core values. Promoting a sustainable business-model, Loft programming will work in concert with the larger historic theater, including noted signature series, taking pressure off the historic theater to present high quality programs and films that draw smaller audiences while providing a desirable performance venue for community partners. Programming and scheduling that supports the development of the Northern Tier, lower Congress Street, and high quality festival efforts will be offered. Programming will include national and local artists with an emphasis on musical acts, theater, spoken word and art cinema.
What Community Partners are saying about The Music Hall: The Music Hall “sets the standard for other venues throughout the state and the region.” – Jane James, Former Chair, Art-Speak: Portsmouth’s Cultural Commission “...gives students incredible opportunities to attend performances and master classes with world-class artists.”– Genevieve Aichele, Artistic Director, New Hampshire Theatre Project “...presents visiting artists to the Seacoast community…up-close and personal.” – Kel Edwards, VP, Seacoast African American Cultural Center “ The Music Hall “family” worked together so seamlessly to make our recent fundraising event starring carol Channing such a success. During the past two decades our agency has provided services to more than 100,000 individuals and we are proud to have helped mark this milestone with our show at the beautiful Music Hall….The theatre is a credit to this community.” – Paul E. Brogan, Executive Director, AIDS Response Seacoast
“Thank you for all you did for our teen group and what you do in the community…you make such a difference in so many lives.” – Whitney Blethen, New Outlook Teen Center