After a year of fundraising, the nonprofit organization Next Act, Inc. is now the proud owner of the historic Astra Theater in downtown Jasper, Indiana. The nonprofit purchased the historic theater with counsel from firm partner William J. Kaiser, Jr. on December 2, and will begin the restoration of the former movie theater soon; the renovated theater will reopen as an arts facility in mid-2016.
Next Act, Inc. received a $100,000 Signature Grant to buy the Astra Theatre earlier this year, and shared plans for a fundraising campaign to gather $465,000, which included the $165,000 needed to buy the building and $300,000 for an endowment for the theater’s restoration. Funding for the grant came from more than 50 unrestricted endowments from individuals, businesses and community groups established with the foundation.
Kaiser is the former president of the Dubois County Community Foundation (DCCF), and currently serves on the board. The DCCF was instrumental in attaining funding for Next Act, Inc., with the firm serving as counsel to the nonprofit. Following successful fundraising and restoration, the Jasper Community Arts Commission will manage the theatre’s daily operations. The Astra has been closed since 2002.
“The Foundation supports past generations, current generations and future generations and this project has the opportunity to tie all three together,” said Kaiser.
DCCF members Eddie Luegers, Marc Steczyk, along with Kaiser, were present for the signing of closing documents. Also in attendance were family members of the sellers of the historic Astra Theater Jerry Gutzwieler and Ann Burger.
[Pictured left to right: Eddie Luegers, Marc Steczyk, William J. Kaiser, Jr., Ann Burger and Jerry Gutzwieler.]