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Algonquin Arts

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Shayne Austin Miller, Director of Marketing and Communications
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Algonquin Arts Ownership Transferred to Non-Profit and Exciting New Changes to Come

October 22, 2009

Manasquan, NJ - Algonquin Arts 501(c)(3) has made a down payment to purchase its theatre from landlords/founders Fran and Jack Drew. After several years of fundraising, the nonprofit has raised the money to place a down payment on the historic theatre and will be resuming its capital campaign to raise funds for the balance due, as well as capital improvements to the complex.

Established in 2003, the capital campaign set a goal of $2.6 million ($1.6 million allotted for the purchase of the building far below market value; $1 million for theatre restoration). Although the economic downturn slowed the capital campaign in 2008, the decision was made to proceed with the purchase due to the potential for increased grant and funding opportunities and lower monthly operating costs for the non-profit. This down payment would not have been possible without the support of many individuals and businesses, such as the OceanFirst Foundation and the Gary & Tamar Tolchin Foundation.

The next steps will be to resume the campaign to raise funds for improvements such as lobby and bathroom expansion, upgraded seating, and overall cosmetic and infrastructure improvements to the historic theatre. The balance of the purchase price will also need to be raised over the next few years, but Algonquin board President John Newman is confident: �This purchase will ensure that Algonquin Arts remains an active cultural beacon for the Jersey Shore.�

The Capital Campaign is separate from the Algonquin�s general operating budget, which is also in need of continuous support. In addition to corporate and foundation sources, both campaigns will be continually supported through a series of fundraisers and appeals. Fresh off the heels of a highly successful June gala honoring Father Alphonse Stephenson, the theatre is about to debut Stars of Stage & Screen: Algonquin�s Celebrity Benefits Series. On November 14, the series begins with the infamous puppet Madame (of Wayland Flowers & Madame fame). The legendary, uncensored diva from Hollywood Squares and Solid Gold will help the Algonquin raise funds with her brand new show It's Madame with an E!

Changes are underway to ensure the Algonquin�s place as a landmark destination for culture at the Jersey Shore. With many new faces on Algonquin�s board and staff, the theatre will see an influx of new ideas and programs in 2010. �We are thrilled about the exciting programs planned for our upcoming 2010 season� states William Whitefield, Director of Arts and Education. �With our educational programs now running at full speed, we will now focus on expanding the scope of our live entertainment in the coming year.� In addition, Algonquin�s website,, will also be re-launched in the coming months with a new look and more information for the community to stay connected to the happenings at the theatre.

Algonquin Arts would like to get the public involved in this transformation. The organization is open to suggestions and ideas and can be contacted via email at [email protected] or by calling the box office at 732-528-9211.

Algonquin Arts was founded in 1991 by Fran and Jack Drew to provide cultural enrichment for residents of Monmouth and Ocean Counties. This mission is still accomplished to this day by presenting a wide range of arts programming, including dramatic and musical theatre, dance, musical concerts and film representing a diversity of style and cultural influence, film and mixed media presentations. Algonquin Arts would like to thank OceanFirst Foundation, New Jersey State Council on the Arts, PNC Foundation, Manasquan Savings Bank, Woman�s Club of Brielle, Investors Savings Bank Charitable Fund, Verizon Foundation, Janice Blanton Plangere & Jules Plangere III, as well as many generous individuals and local businesses for their contributions to the Capital Campaign.