Detroiters are no strangers to seeing former jewels of the city come crashing to the ground, or simply fade into obscurity and fall apart.
One of the shining examples of this narrative is the Alger Theater, located at 16451 East Warren Avenue in the MorningSide neighborhood of Detroit.
We reported several months ago that the theater was hosting a brew and view to help raise funds to renovate the space. Well, while that event was a success, the Friends of The Alger are ramping up for another round of renovations, and they need your help.[quote_center]”Bringing the Alger Theater back to life would have a tremendous impact on the community”[/quote_center]
Together with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the Friends of the Alger Theater have announced a new crowdfunding campaign that will support the continued efforts to restore the historic theater, using a new Michigan-based crowdfunding platform called Patronicity.
The theater is one of only two remaining intact and unchanged neighborhood theaters in the city of Detroit. After suffering from socioeconomic changes and coping with a string of alternative sources of support, the Alger Theater was purchased in 1986 by Friends of the Alger Theater.
Friends of the Alger Theater is a nonprofit community-based organization composed of neighborhood residents and businesses dedicated to preserving the Alger Theater.
The campaign must reach its goal of $25,000 by Sep. 30, and if it does, they will win a $25,000 matching grant from the MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places program – a collaborative effort between the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League and Patronicity, where local residents use crowdfunding to jump-start development projects in their communities and have the chance to receive a matching grant from MEDC.
The funds will help further the group’s already impressive restoration efforts, which include repairing the theater’s roof, removing asbestos, installing security doors, and fixing up the theater’s vacant commercial spaces. Those improvements have allowed the theater to start showing films for the first time in 30 years.
This round of fundraising will raise money to create a space for enhanced community arts, education, and cultural programming, as well as to help stimulate commercial and residential investment in the surrounding neighborhoods.
Specifically, funds will go toward the purchase of an audiovisual system that will allow the theater to show films, feature live music, and host community meetings. Additionally, they will fund the construction of a rooftop deck with a public patio, which would be the first of its kind in the area.
“Bringing the Alger Theater back to life would have a tremendous impact on the community, and we are proud to partner in this effort,” said MEDC Community Development Director Katharine Czarnecki. “Public Spaces Community Places is a great resource for communities to help turn vision into reality.”
Friends of the Alger Theater Vice President Mike Gentile echoed the excitement, saying in a recent statement that “We are thrilled that MEDC has chosen to support the Alger Theater. This campaign will greatly accelerate our efforts and help us engage even more of the community in the transformation.”
If you’re so inclined, click here to make your contribution now!