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Lights Dim as F.M. Kirby Center Undergoes Needed Renovations and Upgrades image
June 06, 2024
Lights Dim as F.M. Kirby Center Undergoes Needed Renovations and Upgrades
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Rising Above Devastating Flood Damage

This past year at the F.M. Kirby Center was memorable to say the least. We truly had the highest of highs with some of the greatest performances happening on our stage. And some of the lowest of lows when our building experienced one of the greatest disasters since Hurricane Agnes. But through it all, we were able to stay true to our mission of offering arts education and entertainment to 70,000 attendees with more than 100 events in our building.

Flood damage, October 2023

On October 10, 2023, a half million gallons of water rushed throughout 11,000 square feet of our lower level, leaving behind an estimated $4 million dollars of damage in its wake. Among the areas affected were offices, gallery space, the Mohegan Lounge, building electrical and stage lighting systems, public restrooms, and our newly redesigned artist dressing rooms that were just unveiled in 2020.

Dressing room flood damage, October 2023

Our staff and experienced crews worked around the clock to get us back on stage within two weeks and were able to rebuild the dressing rooms in just two short months. Since then, teams have been working daily to ensure our building meets regulatory standards and to identify necessary modifications that align with today’s needs.

Our first event after the flood was a performance by the band Lake Street Dive and it couldn’t have been a better reopening celebration. The music, the audience, the energy – it was the perfect dose of motivation that we needed to keep moving forward with our regular programming while rebuilding our lower level.

Renovation underway, May 2024

Since then, we were able to entertain and educate 8,000 local school students completely free of charge during the five stage performances that made up our Laux Young People’s Theater Series (LYPTS). This annual program is completely underwritten by our loyal donors and offers children an opportunity they may otherwise not have. We were also able to host nationally touring artists like Shane Gillis, Chevy Chase, Bonnie Raitt, and too many other favorites to mention.

Renovation underway, May 2024

This past year helped our staff and community realize, even more so, just how beloved and appreciated the F.M. Kirby Center truly is. Important decisions needed to be made in the rebuilding phase quickly, and we were fortunate to have the best of the best working alongside us. We are building amenities to better host our audiences and tours alike and we can’t wait to share them with you! Our goal is to complete the project in its entirety by the beginning of our next season, which starts in September.

Renovation underway, May 2024

NEPA Gives Back

As with any historical building, behind every $20,000 project is another $50,000 challenge. Projects like this take years of planning and fundraising; we have had a few short weeks. We have had to take on the burden of unexpected projects and costly reconstruction all while continuing to underwrite artistic programs for children and families in our area. We are hopeful that you will consider the F.M. Kirby Center in your charitable giving during NEPA Gives!

Despite our hardships, your support has always helped preserve our building and power mission work like the LYPTS. Now, we humbly ask for your assistance as we rebuild for the next 50 years. Click here to visit the F.M. Kirby Center’s NEPA Gives page and donate today.