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The Art has the opportunity to save its historic marquee, but only with your help!
The Art has the opportunity to save its historic marquee, but only with your help!
338 backers pledged $12,433 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

$12,433

338

You Did It! You Saved the Art's Marquee!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! We've reached our goal! A bright, sparkling marquee is in our future, all thanks to you. Based on the amazing response to the campaign we've decided to keep it open for the remainder of its 30-day life. Any funds raised over our goal will go into a theater improvement fund. And our historical building never fails to provide us with things that need repair and renovation! This can include updating our bathrooms, replacing the carpet in our lobby, fixing the broken curtains in the theater, and ensuring that we have the necessary resources to combat problems as they occur (you can't imagine how often our toilets, installed in the 1940s, need some TLC).

Here is a list of some of our other necessary projects and their estimated costs:

  • Theater Seat Deep Cleaning: $1,000
  • Bathroom Update: $2,000
  • Special Event Lighting: $3,000
  • Stage: $6,000
  • New Carpet: $9,000

So, if you have yet to pledge your support to make help make the Art's building as vibrant on the outside as it is on the inside, please do so today!

Save the Art's Marquee with our Matching Gift Campaign!

For 104 years the Art Theater has been a fixture in the cultural life of Champaign-Urbana. But 104 years can really take a toll on a building! Over the past two years the Art has been making improvements to our space to provide you with the best possible theater experience and to ensure our building truly reflects the the vital role the theater plays in the cultural life of Champaign-Urbana.

The marquee in 1962--bold and beautiful!
The marquee in 1962--bold and beautiful!

One of our biggest challenges is our damaged and failing marquee. The literal face of the theater, our marquee should be a beacon for downtown Champaign, its growth, and the role the Art plays in all of our lives. But right now, it’s a sad shell of its former self. Damage from being hit by a semi-truck (!), failing electrical sockets, and broken neon lines put the cost of fixing it at $20,000, making the marquee project impossible—UNITL NOW!

The marquee today--damaged and dark
The marquee today--damaged and dark

The City of Champaign’s downtown improvement project has pledged $10,000 to fix the theater’s marquee. The catch is: we can only access that money if we can match it. That is where you come in!

The gift you give today counts twice as much! Every dollar that is donated to this campaign will be matched DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR by the City of Champaign—up to $10,000!

$25 becomes $50, $50 becomes $100, $100 becomes $200.....and on and on!

If the marquee isn't fixed, it will continue to deteriorate until it becomes unusable. Help us stop that from happening!

Please, make your pledge today! We must reach our goal of $10,000 by March 8th. If we don’t, we can’t access ANY of the matching funds.

Your pledge today is just that, a pledge. Your credit card won’t be charged until—and unless—we reach our goal of $10,000 by March 8th.

Donate early, donate often, and spread the word!

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The Art Theater is Champaign-Urbana's only cooperatively owned independent art house theater. Our mission is to cultivate engaged audiences for art house, independent, and foreign films while promoting local filmmakers and strengthening the art house cooperative movement. We are proud to be a part of the Sundance Institute Art House Project. You can learn more about the Art and its programs here.

Risks and challenges

If the marquee isn't fixed, it will continue to deteriorate until it becomes unusable. The matching funds offered by the city are ONE TIME OFFER only. If we don't raise $10,000 by March 8th, the Art's marquee is effectively doomed.

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    Art Defender

    Helping to save the marquee confers onto you the status of Art Defender, a valued member of the Art Theater Family. Comes with the warm glow of knowing you did a good thing!

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Funding period

- (33 days)