DIXON – The Historic Dixon Theatre officially has a new nonprofit taking the reins after years of looking into a new direction for the facility.
The Historic Dixon Theatre Group recently received its 501c3 nonprofit status, putting its board in charge of operations and clearing up longtime confusion as to who owns the historic building at 114 S. Galena Ave.
In January, the City Council approved filing articles of incorporation with the Illinois Secretary of State for creating the group, which replaces its current managing nonprofit, Dixon Theatre Renovation Inc., after months of putting prospective board members together.
The goal is to grow the theater into a cultural hub for arts and entertainment.
“Our group of volunteer board members is passionate about working hard to make this historic cultural gem the best it can be,” nonprofit board President Tim Boles said.
Board member and city Councilman Mike Venier said the city owes much gratitude to DTRI and its volunteers for keeping the theater alive and in “great working order” over the years, and they hope to create a longterm thriving arts scene.
The group plans to have its first stage production scheduled for summer 2020, and the City Council will vote Tuesday on donating $20,000 to the organization.
“We know that this new energy from the theater will create an environment that will benefit our local quality of life as well as provide great opportunities for tourism, nightlife and next-level cultural events,” Mayor Li Arellano Jr. said.
The new board of directors includes Venier; Boles, general manager for Dixon Stage Left; Tom Elmendorf, head of DTRI; Antony Deter, director of the Dixon Public Library; as well as graphic designer Jessica Dempsey, Paul Roe and Monique Engberg, also with Stage Left.
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.