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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: APRIL 25, 2018

Kechi City Council Approves $10,000 Contribution to Kick-off the “Save the Kechi Playhouse” Fundraiser

The Kechi City Council recently approved a $10,000 grant to the “Save the Kechi Playhouse” fundraising campaign.  Members of the Kechi Arts Council led a presentation explaining the need for immediate intervention.

The Kechi Playhouse, originally home of the Kechi United Methodist Church, is a landmark structure constructed in 1920.  Converted to a community theater in 1983, the Kechi Playhouse is the longest continuously operated business in Kechi.  Time and rising maintenance costs have taken a toll on the aging, iconic building.

The Kechi Arts Council recently partnered with city staff to pursue a $250,000 maximum community development block grant (CDBG) through the Kansas Department of Commerce.  To qualify for the grant, an application must be submitted by the City of Kechi and requires a 25 percent match from the property owner, Misty Maynard.

CDBG funds will only be allowed to finance essential rehabilitation elements of the building.  Depending on the required architectural report, repairs will be limited to making the building accessible and usable year-round.  Examples might include roof and wall repairs, installing insulation, window repairs, weather seals and caulking, providing ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) access, among other necessary restorative actions.

The Kechi Arts Council, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, plans to launch a crowdsourcing campaign in late May. Curtis Zerr, chairman of the Kechi Arts Council stated, “The Kechi Playhouse is a cornerstone and the epicenter of our community.  It’s crucial that we take action now to preserve this building for future generations to cherish.”

Kechi Mayor John Speer explained the necessity for the city’s support of the project, “The Playhouse has served as a landmark in Kechi for nearly 100 years. As Kechi continues to grow, I believe it's also important to preserve our history.”

For questions regarding the fundraising campaign or the CDBG grant, contact:

Cindy Wolf, Kechi Arts Council Treasurer; 316-708-2706; cindysquiltsnmore@gmail.com

Nicole Bailey, Kechi City Treasurer; 316-744-9287; nbailey@kechiks.com

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