Calling on spirit that saved theater, Embassy staff asks for help to pay bills

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Acknowledging the venue is a gathering place where people stay for ‘some time’ and often in tight quarters, the staff at the Embassy Theatre has gotten real with supporters. The people who run the historic building have asked for support this holiday season while saying they are a ‘hopeful bunch’ looking into the new year.

Using a fundraising campaign called Raise the Curtain, the non-profit has set a goal of raising $2 million. The Embassy Theatre has already seen a budget loss of $1 million in 2020 and anticipates losing another $700,000 before the fiscal year is out. The money lost during events has been needed for things like keeping the lights on and heat running.

“One of the things about the Embassy. having been here for 92 years, going on 93 years, is that we’ve been able to go through a lot of historical ups and downs, economic ups and downs,” Chief Marketing Officer Carly Meyers told WANE 15. “This is really no different from the recession in ’08 and some of the other things throughout history where we’ve had to adapt, figure out how to ask the community for help during times where we need help.”

An example of the impact felt by the pandemic is the difference between the Festival of Trees in 2020 vs. 2019. More than 22,000 people visited the event last year, while about 4,600 people walk through the doors this year.

“The community stepped in in the 1970’s and saved the place from the wrecking ball, Myers added. “And it was really just individual people, and children, and big donors all coming together to help to make sure they could preserve our financial future. We have our raise the curtain campaign. Any gift is appreciated. Nothing is too small. You can do it through PayPal, you can write us a check, you can donate to something specific, and you can even just share your adoration and affinity for this place to make sure that people understand that we do need help. We are a non-profit, and that is incredibly important during 2020 and 2021 for us.”

According to Meyers, the Embassy staff has been working on booking events through 2021. She targeted the first quarter for smaller shows and the second quarter for bigger, touring acts.

Find more information on how to donate to the Raise the Curtain campaign here:

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