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BGD Partner William J. Kaiser Jr. and Dubois County Community Foundation Announce Signature Grant for Nonprofit’s Acquisition of the Astra Theatre


After months of uncertainty, the Jasper community has found a hopeful owner for its historic theatre and the Dubois County Community Foundation (DCCF) announced its largest single grant to date. The $100,000 Signature Grant is for the newly-formed nonprofit organization Next Act Inc. to buy the Astra Theatre in Jasper, Indiana, and open the former movie theater as an arts facility.

DCCF President Brad Ward and board chairperson William J. Kaiser Jr. were present for the announcement, along with Leslie Hamby, board chairperson of Next Act, and Jasper Mayor Terry Seitz. Also in attendance were members of the Jasper Community Arts Commission.

When asked about the acquisition, Kaiser told Inside Indiana Business, “The Foundation supports past generations, current generations and future generations and this project has the opportunity to tie all three together.”

Following the announcement, Next Act Inc. outlined its plans for a fundraising campaign to gather $465,000, which includes the $165,000 needed to buy the building and $300,000 for an endowment for the theater’s restoration. Funding for the signature grant will come from more than 50 unrestricted endowments from individuals, businesses and community groups established with the foundation.

The Astra opened in 1937; since it’s closing in 2002, the theater has housed a few events which spurred local interest. It is likely that, following successful fundraising and restoration, the Jasper Community Arts Commission will manage the theatre’s daily operations.

Next Act, Inc. is currently applying for 501(c)3 nonprofit status but has already begun fundraising for the campaign.


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