Work to preserve and restore Lewiston’s downtown Liberty Theater is slowly moving forward.Author Anne Helen Petersen’s Friday presentation is the Liberty Theater Preservation Alliance’s first fundraising event for the project, said alliance member Jan Johnson.
The group wants to raise $30,000 to bankroll the early stages of its mission to turn the historic theater into an arts and performance center. While a small amount of that money will be used for operating expenses, the bulk will be used to apply for matching grants, Johnson said.
The group recently applied to the Idaho Preservation Trust for a grant to pay for architectural design plans. It must be able to match whatever amount is received, which is typical for grants, Johnson said. “Unless we have funds to contribute to grants, we are very limited.”
The alliance plans to launch a public membership drive in the near future to help raise the money, Johnson said.
In the last year, the group has created strategic and business plans. Members have written grants to pay for the theater’s roof and an Americans with Disabilities Act compliant restroom and volunteered at community events to raise money.
Admission to Petersen’s talk at the Salberg Room in Town Square is by donation, and all proceeds will benefit the alliance.
“We’re continuing to work slowly and steadily. We’re grateful for the community support we’ve been receiving and look forward to creating a venue everyone can be proud of,” Johnson said.