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Minot State's Summer Theatre renovation, fundraising makes steady progress but still needs help

Phase Two is a complete renovation of the existing complex including bathrooms, ticket office, dressing rooms, and office space, along with a new plaza and drive-through, and lower-level concessions.

Minot State - Summer Theatre Revitalization
Minot State University's Summer Theatre is being revitalized. Some 85% of the $2.5 million Summer project has been raised, but there is still work that needs to be done.

MINOT, N.D. • The second phase of Minot State University’s Summer Theatre revitalization has given way to colder weather, but fundraising continues.

The school said the iconic amphitheater on the north end of campus is a vital funding project. Some 85% of the $2.5 million project has been raised, according to Rick Hedberg, MSU vice president for advancement and executive director of the Development Foundation. But, he said, work still needs to be done.

“We are so close to finishing our fundraising for this much-needed renovation,” Hedberg said. “We have one chance to make some significant upgrades to the facility. If we can meet our fundraising goal, this is going to be one of the premier outdoor amphitheaters in the upper Midwest. I’m confident people are going to love the improvements.”

To bolster those efforts, MSU has partnered with Twice Blessed this season to maximize giving due to a generous grant from the St. Joseph’s Community Health Foundation. The Twice Blessed program will match donations up to $5,000.

“The Twice Blessed campaign is important so that we can finish our fundraising goal,” said Chad Gifford, MSU Summer Theatre artistic director. “Any time we can stretch those dollars further, it really makes a difference in how quickly we meet our goals. It's been amazing that we have raised this much money already, so I am confident that we can reach this final goal for this year.”

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Phase One of the project started in October 2020 and completed before the beginning of last summer’s 56th season of Summer Theatre, according to the school, and focused on accessibility, including integrating handicap seating in each section, increased space for aisles and handrails, and replacing the upper-level deck.

Phase Two began immediately after the summer season and is expected to be complete in June 2022, in time for a full 57th season. Included in Phase Two is a complete renovation of the existing complex including bathrooms, ticket office, dressing rooms, and office space, along with a new plaza and drive-through, and lower-level concessions.

“It's been amazing to see all of these changes happening,” Gifford said. “Prior to this project, our changes at Summer Theatre have primarily been minor. Building entirely new structures is amazing to see and is something we are all really looking forward to seeing it come together.”

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