The historic Art Theater in Downtown Champaign is facing a serious challenge with their marquee, and they could use your help. The co-op has announced the launch of a Kickstarter campaign to help save the marquee, and the City of Champaign will be matching. Check out the press release:


The Art Theater Co-op Launches the SAVE OUR MARQUEE Campaign 

Champaign, IL – March 6, 2016 – For 104 years the Art Theater has been a fixture in the cultural life of Champaign-Urbana. But 104 years can really take a toll on a building! Over the past two years the Art has been making improvements to our space to provide our community with the best possible theater experience and to ensure our building truly reflects the the vital role the theater plays in the cultural life of Champaign-Urbana.

One of the Art’s biggest challenges has been our damaged and failing marquee. The literal face of the theater, our marquee should be a beacon for downtown Champaign, its growth, and the role the Art plays in all of our lives. But right now, it’s a sad shell of its former self. Damage from being hit by a semi-truck (!), failing electrical sockets, and broken neon lines put the cost of fixing it at $20,000, making the marquee project impossible—UNTIL NOW! 

The City of Champaign’s downtown improvement project has pledged $10,000 to fix the theater’s marquee. The catch is: we can only access that money if we can match it. That is where the Champaign-Urbana community comes in!

Pledge to support the Art’s SAVE OUR MARQUEE challenge campaign today and the City of Champaign will match every pledge, dollar for dollar, up to $10,000!

If the marquee isn't fixed, it will continue to deteriorate until it becomes unusable. Please, make your pledge today! We must reach our goal of $10,000 by March 8th. If we don’t, we can’t access ANY of the matching funds.

Any pledge today is just that, a pledge; until we reach our goal of $10,000 by March 8th no charges will be applied. You can pledge today at our Kickstarter page here:

The much-needed repairs to the Art’s marquee will go a long way in matching the Art’s aesthetic with its neighbors and contributing greatly to the economic and artistic improvement of downtown Champaign. Please help us spread the word about the unique and time-sensitive campaign by sharing it with your networks!


Alicia Kozma

The Art Theater Co-op

126 W. Church Street

Champaign, IL

[email protected]

Top photo from the Art Theater's Kickstarter page.

UPDATE: The campaign was funded in pretty much no time at all — check out the message from the Art Theater (PS):

We are beyond thrilled to announce that the our campaign has reached its goal in just 2 days!

The response from the community has been overwhelming. We can't tell you how touched we are by you committement to, and love for, the Art. The theater will always be here for the Champaign-Urbana community, and we know you will always be here for us. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.

Based on the response we have decided to keep the campaign open for the remainder of its 30-day life. Any funds raised above our goal will be put into a theater improvement fund. Our historic building never stops giving us things to fix, replace, or renovate! This can range from replacing the carpet in our lobby, fixing the broken curtains in the theater, updating our bathrooms, and making sure we have the necessary funds to make repairs when they pop up (you'd probably be unsurprised to know how often our toilets, installed in the 1940s, need some TLC).
For those of you who have already pledged your support, your donation will not be charged to your credit card until the end of the campaign. And, of course, we will continue to keep you updated on the project's progress.

With deepest gratitude,

Your friends at the Art Theater Co-op