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Appalachian Theatre Successfully Tops Capital Campaign Goal

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Last Updated on February 24, 2022 8:14 am

Pre-Payment of Pledges and New Gifts Help Achieve $10M Total

BOONE, NC – The Appalachian Theatre of the High Country (ATHC) announced today
that their decade long capital campaign had reached its ten million dollar goal as of
December 31, 2021. ATHC chair Keith Martin shared the welcome news at the February
meeting of the board of trustees, and cited accelerated pre-payment of multi-year pledges
and generous new gifts as primary reasons why the goal was attained. While a few
pledge commitments are still outstanding, and several capital needs still exist to be met,
Martin said that the record amount of campaign contributions received in the last fiscal
quarter of the calendar year, including a major anonymous gift, put the effort over the top.

“To hit this benchmark during a worldwide pandemic is, quite simply, remarkable,” Martin
noted, “and we are so incredibly grateful for the extraordinary generosity of High Country
residents and visitors who value the performing arts, as demonstrated through the
meticulous restoration and complete renovation of this venerable historic theatre.”

John Cooper, founding board chair and head of the capital campaign for over a decade,
said that both trustees and the general public should take pride in the fact that the project
has been completed and all related costs paid in full. “We promised our stakeholders that
our construction bridge loan would be collateralized only with cash in hand, signed
pledges, corporate gifts, foundation grants, and reliable, renewable contributions from
known sources, both public and private. Today, we are very proud to have fulfilled that
promise.”

“This is a model partnership, one about which First Horizon Bank is honored to have
played a supporting role,” said Market President Jason Triplett, whose financial institution
provided the backing to help the theatre meet its construction obligations, in addition to
the bank’s own generous contributions to the campaign. “It doesn’t surprise me that they
have paid off the bridge loan years ahead of schedule, given the quality of leadership, the
passion of their dedicated volunteers, and a strong commitment from almost every sector
of our vibrant community. Bravo!”

Board treasurer Brady Combs tempered the news with a reminder that the theatre has
experienced operating losses during the three years since its reopening in October 2019,
primarily due to the ongoing pandemic. “We look forward to ensuring the organization’s
continued fiscal responsibility and financial health through stabilization plans we didn’t
dream could be shouldered for many years.”

Executive Director Laura Kratt echoed Combs, and added that the theatre was hit hard
by the extended pandemic-related closure, occurring just five months after the muchanticipated
reopening. This fact, combined with severe winter weather, caused the
postponement or cancellation of several scheduled events. “We’re still here!” said Kratt.
“Together, we rebuilt and reopened this landmark theatre. Now that the capital campaign
is completed, the real work begins: to make this historic venue sustainable from an
operational standpoint.”

Trustees applauded the accomplishment, which Martin noted aligned perfectly with the
mission of the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country, “to revitalize and sustain this
historic community touchstone as a quality home for diverse artists and audiences with a
special focus on programs that celebrate our distinctive Appalachian heritage and
enhance our capacity to serve as an economic catalyst for Boone and the High Country.”

Once a gorgeous 999-seat Art Deco movie house, the building closed in 2007 and sat
empty and gutted for years. On October 14, 2019, the Appalachian Theatre reopened its
doors after a $10 million renovation that brought the distinctive Art Deco details back to
this historic theatre and created a new 629-seat, state-of-the-art, acoustically pristine
venue for live concerts, films, plays, and dance performances. The historic Appalachian
Theatre has entertained regional audiences in the heart of downtown Boone, North
Carolina since 1938.

For more information about the theatre, or to join the their eblast list, get tickets, or
purchase memberships, please visit the ATHC website at www.apptheatre.org.

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