The Art Theater in Downtown Champaign has launched a fundraising campaign to raise $25,000 in the next 25 days. The single screen cinema states that they need to raise the funds "immediately to remain open". Read the statement below, as per their website:

Dear friends of The Art,

The Art Theater needs your help! For years, the Art Theater has provided the Champaign-Urbana community with world class film experiences as the only independent non-profit theater in the area. Through Hollywood classics, eye-opening documentaries, foreign films, children’s features, avant-garde experiments, midnight cult favorites, and everything in between, the Art has offered a haven for movie lovers. And for a community of our size, having a resource of this caliber available to us 365 days a year is truly precious.

As a single-screen theater that focuses on the exhibition of independent films, we need your financial support to maintain our offerings. As you may know, in 2017 the Art Theater became a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and we now depend on personal and corporate donations for our lifeblood. I therefore call out to fellow cinephiles who want the Art Theater to remain a vibrant facet of our community. Due to a slow end of 2018/beginning of 2019, we need $25,000 immediately to keep us open.

The Art is fortunate to have a dynamic new Executive Director, Dr. Porshé Garner, and she and my fellow Board members are determined to ensure that the Art Theater flourishes as an essential ingredient of the quality of life we enjoy here in Champaign-Urbana. So, please, join us by making a contribution today – donations can be made at the box office or online using the button below. And come see a movie soon!

Thank you,

Jerry Payonk
President, Board of Directors, the Art Film Foundation

We reached out to Executive Director Porshé Garner for comment, and she elaborated on the campaign.

SP: Can you detail what these dollars will directly benefit?

Garner: The ask we are making would go directly to the daily operations of The Art Theater. As a non-profit organization we depend on individual and corporate donations to continue our compelling programming. Most people do not know, but in the film exhibition industry as much as 51% of our ticket sales go back to the distributors.

SP: How close is the Art Theater to closing its doors without these funds?

Garner: We absolutely need these funds within the next two weeks or so that we can continue meeting our total expense lines.

Top photo by Anna Longworth