Performing arts camps meets its match

Perry-Mansfield raises $500,000 to meet challenge grants toward $2M renovation

— Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp has met its match.

Just 10 days before a critical June 1 deadline, Perry-Mansfield finished raising $500,000 to match three challenge grants from the Gates Family Foundation, the Boettcher Foundation and an anonymous donor. That means the performing arts camp has reached its $2 million capital campaign goal and is set to begin renovations of three historic buildings, starting with an 1880s log cabin called "Cabeen," the camp's oldest structure.

"It's the first step of a larger campaign, but it's extremely significant," said DeanVogelaar, president of Perry-Mansfield. He said it never would have happened without the support of the alumni and area residents and businesses that hold the camp close to their hearts and stepped in with their support.

"It was the community to the rescue, once again -- and alumni, too," said Janice Vierke, director of marketing for Perry-Mansfield, referring to a successful 1991 community effort to buy the nation's oldest continuously operating arts school and camp from Stephens College.

As part of this $2 million campaign, Perry-Mansfield received a $150,000 grant from the Colorado Historical Society for exterior renovation on "Main Lodge," the camp's second oldest building and home to the dining hall. The historical society also awarded Perry-Mansfield three $10,000 structural assessment grants for Cabeen, Main Lodge, and a main studio that resembles a barn. Local architect Jan Kaminski completed all three assessments

Perry-Mansfield hopes raise $3 million to complete the second phase of their capital campaign for a wish list that includes building a scene shop, modernizing the dormitory, transferring heating systems to natural gas, fixing the road, restoring native grasses and stabilizing cabins on High School Hill.

"We're just really pleased and very thankful to everyone," Vierke said.

--To reach Jennie Lay call 871-4210

or e-mail jlay@steamboatpilot.com

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