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Palace Theatre open to discussing the possibility of managing Nashua's new arts center

Union Leader Correspondent

March 13. 2018 11:55PM
This artist's rendering from Bruner/Cott Architects was created for the Nashua Performing Arts Center. (COURTESY)

NASHUA — Representatives from the Palace Theatre in Manchester have offered to speak with Nashua officials about the possibility of managing the city’s new downtown performing arts center.

“They suggest we get a director, but they are also willing to talk with us about being the management entity with a Palace south branch, if you will,” said Brian McCarthy, president of the Board of Aldermen. “Given the discussions we’ve had with them, I would actually like to explore that in some depth.”

McCarthy said that Peter Ramsey, the executive director of the Manchester theater, has boundless enthusiasm for the Palace Theatre. “He sees no reason we can’t have similar success,” McCarthy said of Ramsey.

In addition to the Palace Theatre’s interest, the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester previously expressed its desire to potentially open an art gallery inside Nashua’s recently-approved performing arts center.

Partnering with Nashua leaders, representatives at the Currier have been in discussions with Mayor Jim Donchess about this new initiative that could possibly showcase local artwork.

Despite the interest from other major art venues, aldermen agreed that a $4 million endowment fund must first be raised prior to construction of the theater. Members of the new steering committee said the fundraising initiative is paramount.

“That all needs to be established fairly quickly if we are going to raise $4 million. We can’t wait two or three months ... and collect the money over the next year-and-a-half — that is just going to take too long,” said Alderman Richard Dowd.

In order to raise a significant amount of money in a short amount of time, some members of the committee suggested hiring a fundraising consultant to assist with the endeavor.

“We need to hit the goal on that, and if it costs us to do that, I think it is an absolutely good investment,” said McCarthy.

Judy Carlson, member of the committee, said a strategic plan and business plan must be thoroughly completed with a list of milestones for potential donors to make a financial commitment.

“We don’t get major fundraiser support unless they can look at what your plan is,” explained Carlson, stressing that will be key in obtaining the $4 million endowment to make the project a reality.

Alderman Ken Gidge suggested that Bill Gates be approached about a potential donation, saying Gates has given large amounts of money to schools and the arts throughout New Hampshire.

Entertainment Local and County Government Nashua

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