Nashua Performing Arts Center

To date, at least $850,000 has been raised in large private donations for the new Nashua Performing Arts Center; organizers have about one more year to raise the remaining $3.15 million needed to move forward with the project.

Put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic, private fundraising for Nashua’s downtown performing arts center got a boost from a $100,000 donation from Brady Sullivan Properties.

“Venues like this will bring additional businesses into the community,” Arthur Sullivan said on Monday. “It helps everyone.”

The Manchester management company recently completed the conversion of the Franklin Street Mills into 200 apartments in Nashua.

Aldermen previously approved a $15.5 million bond for the downtown performing arts center, which is to be constructed at 201 Main St. at the former Alec’s shoe store site; an additional $4 million in private donations is also required by Aug. 31, 2021, for the initiative.

Although representatives with the fundraising campaign are not saying exactly how much fundraising has been secured to date, they confirmed earlier that at least $645,000 has been donated.

With more recent donations totaling $205,000, that brings the estimated grand total from larger donors to about $849,000.

“The volunteers on the capital campaign are excited about the many generous donations since the campaign began a year ago in June of 2019,” said Deborah Novotny, chairman of the capital campaign.

Rich Lannan, president of Nashua Community Arts, said in a news release that he is grateful for the donors and their financial commitments to the arts project, especially during a time of severe demands on the country’s financial institutions throughout the pandemic.

Recently, several Nashua residents pleaded with city officials to hold off on the $15.5 million project, saying now is not the correct time to pursue a multimillion dollar arts center.

Brady Sullivan Properties committed to a leadership gift of $100,000 to the arts center through the New Hampshire Tax Credit Program.

“The arts are really important in attracting people,” said Sullivan, adding the new arts center will be a natural fit for Nashua’s downtown.

The arts center also recently received a $15,000 donation from Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, a $25,000 donation from Bob and Marylou Blaisdell of Nashua, a $25,000 donation from Martha’s Exchange and Brew Pub and a $40,000 donation from the Marzen Group LLC, a systems integration and engineering consulting company in Nashua.

Enterprise Bank previously gifted $100,000 toward the project, Bank of America donated $250,000 and about $294,000 has been secured in a state tax credit from the Community Development Finance Authority.

Judy Carlson, who is assisting with the capital campaign efforts, said although the fundraising efforts were temporarily on pause because of the pandemic, organizers are back at it talking with prospects and writing foundation grants.