The student newspaper of Augusta High School

The Oriole

The student newspaper of Augusta High School

The Oriole

The student newspaper of Augusta High School

The Oriole

Arts Council raises awareness for theater funding

Photo by Emily Brinkley
The Augusta Theater gains money by selling refreshments such as drinks, popcorn and candy. The theater relies on volunteers to provide these services to the citizens.

The Augusta Theater relies on an abatement from the city to keep running, an abatement from the city aids in repairs and upgrades around the theater.

An abatement from the city can be beneficial for different types of businesses. An abatement covers certain parts of utility bills for businesses who request it. The request must include the theater’s nonprofit status, financials and be submitted it at the deadline to the city council. Arts Council board member Jada Ackerman is in charge of the abatement request.

“Through partnership with the city of Augusta, we have the opportunity to apply each year for the abatement for the utilities,” Ackerman said. “We kind of have to go off of our budget to ensure that the amount that we asked for is going to cover the cost of that.”

There are parts of the theater that require more power and money to run; the theater’s lights use neon, which takes more power to run than LED lights. The theater needs upgrades on it’s screen, as well as it’s HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) system.

“As a nonprofit status, we’re also looking at different kinds of grants that come around to help with that, but a lot of those grants are matching grants, meaning we’d have to come up with half of the funding and they provide the other half,” Arts council vice president Andrew Ebert said.

The Arts Council is working on making the theater more accessible and trying out new activities at both the theater and the art building.

“With a theater, we’re looking at other types of programming to make it more accessible, change it up a little bit, not doing just a movie night and that’s it. You know, like open mic nights as an option,” Ebert said.

The arts council is focusing on making the theater feel welcoming, exciting and wants people to choose to go to the theater.

“I think for me, it’s a matter of letting people know that they have this option,” Ackerman said. “That they don’t have to go to Wichita. They can, but they have their own theater here that they can enjoy, it gives them a completely unique experience that they wouldn’t get in another town.”

As the theater does not get much funding outside of it’s abatement, it relies on volunteers to help run the projector and refreshments such as popcorn and drinks. The arts council also hosts activities such as art shows.

“Our main funding comes from what we make at our events that we have our movie showing, those funds go into a bank account so that we can use those funds to help sponsor events like these,” Ebert said.

The theater has been around for more than 80 years. Though it is aging and needs more updates to comply with new regulations, the arts council wants to keep it open to allow for new memories and experiences for the new generations.

“It’s just kind of one of those crowning gems in the community that we really do work hard to preserve. The last thing on our minds is seeing the theater close for any reason,” Ebert said.

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About the Contributor
Emily Brinkley
Emily Brinkley, Reporter
Sophomore Emily Brinkley is a second-year reporter for The Oriole. She joined newspaper to be closer to the students in the school. She hopes people will be able to learn more about their community and classmates through the stories that are written. When she graduates from high school, she would like to study to be a kindergarten teacher. Brinkley is also a member of the color guard and in her second year, she was chosen to lead the team as captain. She feels honored that she is able to lead the team.  When she is not in school, she enjoys reading, fishing with her family, playing with her dog Walter or listening to music. 
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