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Officials are seeking $2.5 million to renovate the Landers Theatre.
Photo provided by Springfield Little Theatre
Officials are seeking $2.5 million to renovate the Landers Theatre.

Springfield Little Theatre launches $250K crowdfunding campaign

Posted online

Last edited 1:18 p.m., Feb. 4, 2019

Springfield Little Theatre officials this month are using crowdfunding with their sights set on raising $250,000.

Through Crowdrise, which is owned by GoFundMe, the organization is soliciting funds through the end of February in its campaign dubbed, “The Next Stage for Springfield Little Theatre,” according to a news release.

The online fundraising goal is part of a larger $5 million capital campaign Springfield Little Theatre announced in August 2018. Fundraised capital is earmarked for repairs of the downtown Landers Theatre, which turned 109 years old in September, the purchase and renovation of the McDaniel School for use in educational camps and programs, and support for the theater’s endowment.

"As we move forward with the important work of preserving the Landers Theatre, we realize that our story resonates with so many people,” Springfield Little Theatre Board of Directors President Jeff Hammock said in the release. “Because of this, we are launching a crowdfunding campaign in February to help us continue our work. The Springfield Little Theatre has touched so many people through many generations, and we want everyone to be able to have a role in ensuring the Landers Theatre and Springfield Little Theatre are here for generations to come.”

In the first three days, the Crowdrise campaign raised $10,275, or roughly 4 percent of its goal, as of 11:15 a.m.

Springfield Little Theatre Marketing Director Megan Buchbinder said the organization has brought in $500,000 of its $5 million goal, including the funds raised so far via Crowdrise.

When the capital campaign was launched last year, officials pointed to a fall 2019 target to hit the goal.

Some of the work on the Landers Theatre, 311 E. Walnut St., already has been completed, according to the release. Buchbinder said a loan from Community Foundation of the Ozarks helped fund the improvements.

Crews have worked to redo the building’s facade, build new front steps, add a heated sidewalk, restore the water-damaged basement foundation, refresh marquee boxes, repair gutters, strengthen rehearsal studio weight support and lease the school with the intent to purchase, according to the release.

In June 2018, Springfield Little Theatre began leasing the McDaniel School, which most recently housed Bryan College, for its summer camps, according to past SBJ reporting.

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