AUGUSTA — The Colonial Theater Board of Directors is pleased to announce that it has received a $15,000 grant from the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Fund to support an ambitious restoration plan for the theater. The funds, which range in size from $2500 to $15,000 are gifted by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Drafted by members of the Colonial Theater Grants Committee and the Augusta Downtown Alliance, this grant will be used to help restore the interior of the theater by developing a master plan to preserve historic elements such as lobby floor tiles, tin ceiling components and wood finishes. Such a plan will help the theater pursue more fundraising efforts, while opening it up to future tax credit applications.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled about this,” said Amanda Jones Taylor, one of the primary drafters of this grant. “Up until now, we’ve been more focused on stabilization, but can now start making headway into more detailed changes.”
News of this award comes fresh off the heels of the hiring of Massachusetts native Peter Bezemes as the theater’s new executive director. Bezemes brings with him more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment industry and will begin his role in August.
“This is a very exciting time for the theater,” said Michael Hall, head of the Augusta Downtown Alliance. “With new leadership and new funding on the way, it appears we’re finally on track to see this project to completion!”
As part of a matching grant, remaining funds for the additional $15,000 will be sourced from a series of public and private fundraisers, including the Colonial Theater concert series on Front Street, which took place July 13, July 27 and August 24, featuring the Ballroom Thieves, the Mallett Brothers and Rustic Overtones.