WBTT enters final phase of ‘Heart & Soul’ capital campaign
Goal extended to $8 million to ensure ample funds for theater renovation and endowment
SARASOTA, FL – Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe has announced it is extending its Heart & Soul capital campaign, which is funding renovations to its campus and buildings. The organization has exceeded its original $6 million minimum goal and is now preparing to enter the final phase of the campaign; leadership has announced an $8 million final goal to guarantee ample funding for the theater renovation and ensure long-term viability by growing its endowment.
As of mid-July, fundraising stands at $6.5 million. The three-story Education & Outreach Building at the front of the campus opened in April and is in full use, and the parking lot and grounds have enjoyed upgrades as well. Sufficient funds have been raised to begin theatre renovations in May 2019. When completed, WBTT will have a larger theatre with comfortable, permanent theatre seating, soundproof walls, a second stage, larger restrooms, and professional backstage areas for the cast.
“Our Board of Trustees, Founder/Artistic Director Nate Jacobs and I wish to thank everyone who has participated in our Heart & Soul Campaign. Our hardworking fundraising committee, ardent supporters, and numerous corporations and foundations have made our campaign success possible,” said Julie Leach, WBTT’s executive director. “We feel that the campaign extension is necessary to ensure that we have ample resources to complete all phases of the theater construction, even in today’s rising construction cost environment. And our endowment will ensure we are sustainable for decades to come.”
The Heart & Soul campaign is transforming the organization’s 2.5-acre, two-building campus at 1012 N. Orange Avenue into a cohesive, state-of-the-art theatre arts center, enabling the organization to more fully develop its education program, and growing its endowment fund for the future of the troupe. Architect for the project is C. Alan Anderson Architect, P.A.; construction management firm is Willis Smith Construction.
Community members are encouraged to be a part of WBTT’s future – many naming opportunities are still available to donors, such as naming courtyard pavers or theater seats, or even naming the newly-renovated Education & Outreach building. For more information or to make a gift, contact Julie Leach at (941) 366-1505 or [email protected]
About Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe:
The Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe of Florida, Inc. is the only professional black theater company on Florida’s West Coast. The mission is to produce plays that promote and celebrate the African-American experience, attract diverse audiences, while using its productions as a vehicle for supporting African-American artists and building the self-esteem of African-American youth. For more information on WBTT, visit the website at westcoastblacktheatre.org or call 941-366-1505.