Carrie Rengers

Music Theatre Wichita exceeds fundraising goal, buys building

Music Theatre Wichita is a renter no more.

As Have You Heard? reported in March, the company wanted to buy the 33,000-square-foot building it’s been renting for sets and costumes at 811 E. 10th St.

It put out a call to help raise $200,000 of the $660,000 cost.

“We had so many people respond and so quickly,” says development director Angela Cassette. “We had a really wide range and a lot of people who were supportive.”

Including grants and other donations, MTW raised $255,000.

MTW also owns a 19,500-square-foot building a couple of blocks away at 1012 N. Washington that also houses sets and costumes used in the theater’s shows. The company also rents those to other theaters.

Rentals are 10 percent of the theater’s annual $4 million operating budget.

“Not only was it helpful,” Cassette says of the money raised for the building, “it was also really encouraging how many people understand what we’re trying to do. People really seem to understand the value of the rental program.”

Don Arnold of John T. Arnold Associates handled the deal for the building.

The Wallace Foundation gave a $75,000 matching grant, which someone completely matched.

The Sunderland Foundation gave a $50,000 grant.

“We were really thrilled that they came through at that level of support,” Cassette says.

There were 179 other donors plus in-kind gifts from GSI Engineering and Mert Buckley of Adam Jones Law Firm.

Cassette says board members, who strongly encouraged the purchase, “also did quite a bit of work.”

“We were really happy with how everything turned out.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers

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