It was a warm and sunny day in Downtown Muskegon as a small crowd, by design, gathered outside the Frauenthal Theater in Downtown Muskegon to hear a two fold announcement from the theater and the Community Foundation which owns the theater as well as houses it's offices in the upstairs of our county's landmark. There were some TV cameras, a couple of on lookers as well as some of town's movers and shakers on hand for the dual purpose announcement and we were invited to come down and help the Frauenthal get the work out by carrying a live stream of what was happening!
First up. The Frauenthal, is OPEN again. Sure there are some left over orders to follow over social distancing and indoor crowd sizes but as we work our way through the tail end of those, the far too long shuddered theater will once again be bringing back the events that everyone knows and loves. The first BIG one will be the Miss Michigan Pageant which will be carried world wide via PPV as a fundraiser for the scholarship program. This event has been happening in Muskegon for 40 years and while there will still be a seat limit, to see the show go global via a PPV stream, that's a win to us! We will proudly be producing the stream for the group too! The summer movies are coming back, music, comedy, fun...it's all on the way!
The next major piece....and you need to brace yourself for this one. Quietly, behind the scenes while the theater sat dark, a funding campaign has been going on. Muskegon has managed in a very big way to come through like no other community can, even in a time of wonder and doubt and to date, $4.1 million dollars of the $5.1 million needed to get everything from the HVAC to fire escapes to the marquee and sound and lighting brought up to date has happened. $4.1 MILLION BUCKS from the generosity of our business community and philanthropic leaders like Howmet Aerospace Foundation, Consumers Energy Foundation, Hines Corporation, the Joyce Muston estate, and Mike and Kay Olthoff, as well as the City of Muskegon and Muskegon County. Who else but Muskegon can pull that off in a pandemic?
The call today? It was to bring the last leg of the fundraising campaign home. As we all use the Frauenthal at some point or another for maybe a movie, concert or event, that last million bucks is being asked of the community. Do they want your last dime? No, but the idea of maybe talking to your work, or if you are a place who looks for ways to contribute, now is the time. There were a broad array of speakers today to explain all that's gone on and all that's to come and we've got every bit of it for you right here! Take a listen!
What a day to be a part of. The sense of normal was a welcome change, the idea of the "Frau" reopening is outstanding and to know that so much has already been done and the next 90 years....well, the treasured center point of Muskegon is going to be in good hands. To learn more about the campaign and all that's gone into it, click on the Frauenthal logo below!