The effort to breathe new life into a historic Jasper landmark is closing in on a key fundraising deadline. New nonprofit Next Act Inc. is looking to raise $465,000 by the end of the month to help save the Astra Theatre, which opened in 1937. March 18, 2015

News Release

JASPER, Ind. – The Art Deco-style Astra Theatre opened on a corner of Jasper's courthouse square in 1937 and remained a downtown mainstay until it in closed in September 2002. The building languished on the market for years with no takers, until a new non-profit group — Next Act, Inc. — began campaigning to give the Astra a new lease on life. The youthful founders of the group hope to save the landmark to increase the cultural and artistic opportunities in Dubois County. Next Act wants to own the theater and partner with the Jasper Arts Commission – an arm of city government – to handle day-to-day operations and programming.

The group’s three-phase fundraising strategy starts with raising $465,000 to buy the theater and establish an endowment to offset annual maintenance, utility and insurance costs. In Phases II and III, Next Act would raise an additional $285,000 to create accessible restrooms and cover other renovations. In November 2014, the Dubois County Community Foundation announced its largest grant ever — a $100,000 challenge grant for the Astra project. But Next Act has only until March 31 to raise twice that amount to meet the challenge and meet the entire $465,000 initial fundraising phase.

To date the group has raised approximately $150,000. Next Act leaders remain optimistic and welcome gifts of all sizes to support the Astra project. To learn more or make a contribution, visit www.TheNextAct.org.

Source: Indiana Landmarks

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