Our greatest need is to sustain an ongoing flow of gift income that enables us to maintain this treasured landmark and meet the expenses of programming. The not for profit Friends of Vergennes Opera House finishes each year with its budget in the black, but with only a modest buffer as a contingency fund. Our gift income is directly related to the events we can provide and the repairs and improvements we can make to this irreplaceable 1897 building and performance space.
In recent years we have been able to install a fire sprinkler system, restore the marquee outside the entrance, improve the stage and house lighting and make critical improvements to the electrical system. As you can imagine, with a building nearly 125 years old needed repairs arise with considerable frequency as do safety issues. This list often exceeds our capacity to keep up. Your contribution will help to fund these important needs. Some of the current needs include:
- A new heating boiler was installed in January 2020 which will improve efficiency and safety in the building working jointly with the city of Vergennes. The FVOH is responsible for $27,000 of its total cost.
- We recently completed an extensive upgrade to all lighting systems, both stage and house lights.
- Our original seating, while comfortable, is beginning to show its age. A new seating system is needed estimated to cost in the range of $75,000 to $100,000.
- Repairs to the floor are needed to mitigate buckling. Replacing the floor, which will soon be needed is estimated to cost $34,000 barring any latent issues.
- Repair to the storm window system is needed at an estimated cost of $17,000. This will help greatly in lowering fuel costs over time by taking advantage of natural light and cooling.
Endowed funds are created without restriction or can be designated for a specific purpose, such as facility enhancement for example. They can also be named which links a donor’s name or that of a loved one to the Opera House in perpetuity. See how to make a gift.
Endowments are typically created by donors through bequests or through larger outright gifts. Endowment gift opportunities include:
- A named fund to benefit technology in the Opera House
- A named fund to benefit facility repairs and improvement
- A named fund to support events
- A named fund to support the salary of an artistic director
- A named fund to support a visiting instructors teaching dance, music, etc.