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Local

New theater nonprofit board named

The Historic Dixon Theatre
The Historic Dixon Theatre

DIXON – The city has lined up the seven people for the new nonprofit board tasked with running the Historic Dixon Theatre, and now is taking steps to get the group off the ground.

The City Council approved filing articles of incorporation with the Illinois Secretary of State for creating the Dixon Historic Theatre Group, which will replace its current managing nonprofit, Dixon Theatre Renovation Inc.

The new board of directors will consist of city Councilman Mike Venier; Tim Boles, general manager for Dixon Stage Left; Tom Elmendorf, head of DTRI; Antony Deter, director of the Dixon Public Library; as well as musician Jessica Dempsey, Paul Roe and Monique Elmendorf, also with Stage Left.

It likely will take 2 or 3 months for the paperwork to be processed with the state, and then there’s a long list of other steps, such as creating bylaws, that must be taken before the organization is finalized.

The council wanted board members who would bring a diverse mix of views and experience in theater, business, management and culture, Mayor Li Arellano Jr. said.

The group also likely will create a friends of the theater volunteer branch to help with events and fundraisers.

They’re an excited and energized group that will focus on increasing the vibrancy and cultural value of the historic theater in years to come, Venier said.

Plans to pursue a different management direction for the theater started in 2016, following about 2 years of confusion as to whether the theater was owned by DTRI or the county. The city, county and nonprofit entered into a partnership in 2017 to create a new group that will take on ownership and decisions for the nearly century old theater at 114 S. Galena Ave.

The city has paid for certain theater expenses including some remodeling work and contracting for a structural analysis of the building, and the council allocated about $20,000 to go toward performances.

If they continue to put money in the theater, the new group should present to the council each year saying how they will use the funds, Councilman Dennis Considine said.

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