MSU Summer Theatre Renovation and Thanks to MACF!

Dr. Steven W. Shirley
President, Minot State University
Published July 18, 2020 in the Minot Daily News

As you may know, the Minot Area Community Foundation (MACF) earlier this month announced a $500,000 matching challenge gift toward the MSU Summer Theatre renovation project. This is one of the largest gifts in the history of the MACF, and MSU, our MSU Development Foundation, and MSU Summer Theatre are incredibly grateful and humbled by this tremendous generosity.

The MACF matching gift is a major boost to our overall summer theatre fundraising campaign, and will help ensure success as we enter the next phase of this important fundraising effort. Now we need your help to achieve our goal of raising another $500,000 to match and access the MACF gift. A huge word of THANKS to the MACF Board of Directors, Community Investment Advisors, President Jason Zimmerman, Staci Kenney, Chelsea Kirkhammer, and recently retired long-time President Ken Kitzman for their partnership and support of this project.

A little background about the project: last year, MSU received formal permission from the ND State Board of Higher Education to embark on a fundraising campaign of approximately $1.5 million to renovate the Summer Theatre Amphitheatre. The Amphitheatre is located on the north end of the MSU campus and has been home to Summer Theatre in Minot for the past half-century. The facility is showing its age, and this renovation will expand physical accessibility for our patrons, relocate the concession stands to the lower level, create a new plaza and welcoming drive-through entrance, add a canopy over the stage, improve the orchestra pit, enhance landscaping, and add bathrooms, a ticket office, dressing rooms, office space, and premium seating. When the renovations are finished, the Summer Theatre Amphitheatre will continue its great legacy for the next half-century as a showpiece for our entire community, state, and region.

This is also an ideal time to offer a congratulatory word to the Minot Area Community Foundation on their 20th birthday celebration. All across our great city, the works and projects supported by the MACF are evident and benefit all of us. We have a great quality of life in Minot, North Dakota, and much of that quality is directly thanks to projects that have MACF fingerprints all over them. This major gift helping bring the Summer Theatre renovation closer to reality will be yet another of those projects. My heartiest wishes on 20 terrific years of improving our community, and we look forward to seeing the great work MACF does in the next 20 years.

Regarding quality of life, certainly one of the major assets in Minot directly enhancing our quality of life is Summer Theatre. While housed on the MSU campus, Summer Theatre is a community attraction that benefits the entire city and broader northwestern and north-central regions of North Dakota. Summer Theatre has been serving this important purpose and drawing audiences from around the state and beyond for the past five and a half decades. Throughout those many years, Summer Theatre has provided the opportunity for thousands of area youth, community members, and MSU students and staff, as well as performers from around the globe, to share their talents and expand their artistic abilities.

Thanks once again to the Minot Area Community Foundation for the substantial matching gift helping bring this project to reality. Please realize this is a matching gift, and the only way we can access the funds is by raising another $500,000 to attain the match. Therefore, we need your help! If you would like to participate and help achieve the $500,000 match, please check the website to see renderings of the Amphitheatre renovations and for more information, or call the MSU Foundation at 701-858-4483.

As always....Go Beavers!