Dixon Stage Left launches fundraising campaign for renovation costs

Campaign aims to rally community support by asking 100 donors to contribute $100 each

Dixon Stage Left has moved from around the corner to the new location at 105 S. Peoria Ave. in Dixon. The theater is asking for 100 donations of $100 to help defray the cost of the renovation.

DIXON – Dixon Stage Left launched its “100 at 100″ fundraising campaign Monday in an effort to raise money to help cover renovation costs of its new building. The campaign aims to rally community support by asking 100 donors to contribute $100 each. The goal is to raise $10,000 by Aug. 1, according to a news release.

Donations can be made online at the Dixon Stage Left Givebutter fundraising page or at the box office at the new location. If Dixon Stage Left reaches its campaign goal, the theater will randomly draw one name from the list of donors and give them a pair of season tickets to the 2025 season.

The theater moved to 105 S. Peoria Ave. on June 3, which consolidated all its operations under one roof. The new location provides the opportunity to expand the theater’s capacity in the future and will offer patrons first-floor access to the auditorium. The organization plans to hold a soft reopening in early 2025, Spencer Aurand, Dixon Stage Left general manager, said in an interview with Shaw Local.

The money raised through the campaign will be used for renovation projects at the new location, including general repairs and demolition, leveling the floor and installing restrooms.

The theater started construction at the new spot in May. The new location used to be a storefront that housed C & N Supply, an industrial equipment supplier.

“It’s going to be a lot of work” as the organization works to reconfigure a storefront into a performing arts space, Scott Fattizzi, executive director of Dixon Stage Left, said in an interview with Shaw Local.

A temporary hold had to be placed on the initial demolition projects to complete needed structural repairs to the building, and they are now completed. The organization is finishing up the removal of the drop ceiling and the installation of new lighting, Aurand said.

Demolition also will include removing pillars that run through the middle of what will be the auditorium, certain walls and old plumbing systems, Fattizzi said.

The main floor of the building needs to be fully leveled before construction of the auditorium can begin. The organization also needs to construct additional restrooms, as there is only one functioning restroom in the building. The new auditorium will seat up to 120 people. To be able to accommodate that many guests, more restrooms need to be added, according to the release.

“We are incredibly grateful for the ongoing support from our community and hope even more members of the community will see the value we’ve brought to the area,” Fattizzi said.

As of Wednesday, the theater had raised $1,600 through 16 supporters, according to its online fundraising website. A lot of the theater’s regular patrons have joined Dixon Stage Left as sustainable members, donating a small amount each month, Aurand said. He added that it’s been a mix of support from dedicated patrons and newcomers who are interested in the organization.

“Everything’s going really well right now,” but the renovations at the new building are going to be long term and ongoing, Aurand said. The money needed to complete these renovations is going to keep increasing, he said.

Dixon Stage Left is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Founded in 2014 by Tim Boles, it opened in April of that year with theatrical performances of “Vanities,” “Barefoot in the Park” and “RED.” Since then, Dixon Stage Left has hosted educational workshops and put on 38 productions, including popular favorites such as “A Christmas Carol” and “Little Shop of Horrors.”

For information, visit Dixon Stage Left’s website at dixonstageleft.org.

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Payton Felix

Payton Felix

Payton Felix reports on local news in the Sauk Valley for the Shaw Local News Network. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago in May of 2023.