Carson City Parks Foundation receives $20,000 grant for Boldrick Theater |

Carson City Parks Foundation receives $20,000 grant for Boldrick Theater

Ronni Hannaman
Carson City Community Center manager Eric Klug stands outside the center currently undergoing further refresh.

Money begets money. And that statement is true when it comes to the Carson City Parks and Recreation Foundation.

Recently, the foundation was the recipient of a $20,000 matching grant from the Robert Z. Hawkins Foundation to continue to refresh the Bob Boldrick Theater lobby within the community center that started in February, allowing then-Chamber chairman of the board Bob Fredlund to present the foundation with a check for $20,300. The largest donors included Coldwell Banker Select, Southwest Gas, Carson Tahoe Health, Allison McKenzie Law Firm and Mayor Bob and Susan Crowell. There were many business and individual donors as well as those who purchased tickets to the gala.

The grant was a direct match to the monies raised by the Chamber when it organized a gala fundraiser to allow locals to preview the newly renovated theater. It had been determined that since the theater had received a much-needed full makeover funded by the Question 18 tax, the general fund, and the Redevelopment Authority Citizens Committee funding, the lobby would need to be refreshed as well.

A special Chamber committee was formed chaired by Susan Crowell and Susie Messina to plan the gala that would raise monies for the proposed refresh. Part of the $20,300 was spent to put in new — and much-needed lobby lighting that, when lit, now provides an upscale look to the lobby.

Since the funding would not cover all the needs, parks director Jennifer Budge directed theater manager Eric Klug to solicit a grant from the Robert Z. Hawkins Foundation. Budge stated, “I have a long-standing relationship with the Robert Z. Hawkins Foundation from my years at Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Space. From their tremendous investment in the Robert Z. Hawkins Amphitheater, I knew they had a passion and dedication to support community arts and thought the Bob Boldrick Theater would garner their interest. While they typically stay focused in the Truckee Meadows, they have wanted to expand their projects to the state capital, so this was a great fit. The foundation was so impressed with the recent renovations and this grant was a great way to match the Chamber’s amazing fundraising efforts. We truly appreciate the foundation’s support and look forward to all that we can accomplish together for the benefit of the community.”

Klug is in charge of the continued upgrades and has received suggestions and assistant from decorator Karen Abowd and WNC’s Stephanie Arrigotti, who produces the first-class musicals through the Western Nevada Music Theater Co.

Klug’s wish list includes acoustic panels for inside the theater to provide better sound, LED lighting, blackout curtains for the entrances to the theater, directional signing, paint and eventually a new orchestra pit, though this is beyond the scope of this grant. Since the front of the lobby is composed almost completely of glass, he wishes to put up artistic vinyl window treatments to mitigate the summer sun and reduce glare. Another goal is to provide space for artists to showcase their works. He knows the combined donations and grant monies will not cover all his wishes. “My first priority is to paint the lobby, followed by the blackout curtains and signage.” If there is any money left, he will prioritize the list again.

When asked whether this was the first grant ever received by the theater, he replied, “In the entertainment field, the BAC has received grants, but to my knowledge, we have never gone after grants of this type, and we certainly will check out future grant opportunities.”

The city has wanted to refresh the well-used theater and lobby since the early 1990s when former manager Mitch Ames ran the center. Although there is money for building government buildings, there is no ongoing budget for maintenance and remodeling.

“The replacement of the seats was recognized in 2007,” according to Klug.

The recession stopped most of the suggested remodeling except for some of the needed behind-the-scenes improvement needed to house productions. Then-supervisor Pete Livermore championed the stage lighting.

Finally, after 15 years of wishing, hoping and dreaming, we now have a theater of which the citizens can be proud. The upgraded lobby will add to the overall theater experience and is one of the many upgrades to the city since 2016.

There seems to be a lot of opportunity to apply for grants and now that Klug knows how to write a grant, as he stated, “The floodgates are open!”

Ronni Hannaman is the executive director of the Carson City Chamber of Commerce.