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Erickson Center gets $1M grant

CURTIS — The Erickson Center for the Arts in Curtis has announced the acquisition of a $1 million grant to partially fund the construction of a new performing arts theater.

According to a press release, the center’s board of directors approved the construction of the theater to be located next to the current Erickson Center building. The new facility will house a 160-seat theater with a large permanent stage and a graduated floor for better sight lines to the stage, the release states. In addition, it will provide a lobby and backstage dressing rooms for performers, features not present in the current facility.

The current Erickson Center building, generously donated by Richard and Nancy Erickson, was built as a multipurpose building and has served the center’s needs well but has proven deficient for much of the preforming arts events at the center, according to the release.

In the release, Kelly Chamberlin, board president stated: “It is time to match the quality of the facility to the quality of the directors, musicians and actors. Our ability to continue to produce high-quality performances is not hampered by local talent but by the lack of a true performance space.”

The center is currently engaged in a capital campaign to raise $1.65 million for the construction of the theater. Recently, a major step forward in the campaign was taken when the center received a grant of $1 million from the Nancy A. and Richard P. Erickson Foundation, administered by Stuart and Peggy Erickson. Together with donations from the board, executive committee members and private citizens, nearly 80 percent of the center’s goal has been met.

Board Chairman Tom Linscheid said in the release he believes “the addition of this state-of-the art facility will enhance our ability to attract nationally known performers, traveling theater and dance companies, and to produce our own high-quality events thereby adding to the local economy and establishing Curtis as a destination location.”

Anyone interested in learning more about the proposed performing arts center or wishing to contribute to the campaign can contact the ECA at 906-586-9974 for more information.