A fundraising effort to build a new community theater building is now just $900,000 from its goal after a large gift from a well-known foundation.
The Ross and Marianna Beach Foundation has made a $300,000 donation to Theatre Lawrence’s campaign to build a new 300-seat performance center in northwest Lawrence, the theater announced Thursday.
“The generosity of people has been so overwhelming,” said Mary Doveton, executive director for Theatre Lawrence. “To have an institution like the Beach organization that has a reputation for being a partner in so many high-quality education and arts projects is wonderful for the community.”
The Beach family — known in Lawrence for its longtime ownership of Douglas County Bank — has operated businesses in Lawrence, Hays and other locations across the state.
The theater now has raised $5.3 million to build a new theater in the Bauer Farm development near Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive. The group has until the end of September to raise the remaining $900,000, or it will lose $1.5 million in matching grant funds.
The new building will replace the theater’s much smaller facility at 15th and New Hampshire streets.