The City of Thomasville was presented with a check from The Fox Theatre Institute (FTI) for a Historic Structure Study and Planning Grant in the amount of $22,500 to support an architectural study of the Thomasville Municipal Auditorium. FTI, a division of Atlanta’s Fox Theatre, Inc., is a dynamic outreach program offering historic preservation expertise, consultation, and education to performing arts venues in Georgia and the region.
“It was exciting to know that our grant application was approved. These funds are the first step toward a Historic Preservation Plan that will preserve the history of this amazing landmark building and guide us through upcoming renovations,” said Bonnie Hayes, Director of Tourism Development. “Having FTI visit Thomasville to present the check makes the achievement feel even more special and solidifies the City’s commitment to maintaining an outlet for local arts and entertainment.”
According to Hayes, the grant funds have already been put into use. Through the careful attention of local stakeholders such as Thomasville Landmarks and Thomasville Entertainment Foundation, the City was able to contract with an architectural firm, WLA out of Athens, Georgia, to conduct the Historic Preservation Plan. “Once completed, this plan will provide the City an in-depth look at the many years and series of municipal uses of the building while also providing a method for the best practices for maintaining the historical integrity of the Municipal Building. Lastly, with an HPP, we are better situated to apply for future FTI grants,” said Hayes.
“These grants allow historic theaters, performing arts centers, or associated structures to receive needed financial assistance, restoration support, and operations mentoring,” said Leigh Burns, Director of Fox Theatre Institute. “Now, in the fourteenth year of operation, the Fox Theatre has granted more than $2.2 million to fund preservation projects throughout the state. We feel Thomasville’s Municipal Auditorium is certainly a deserving structure.” Fox Theatre’s 2021-22 FTI grant program awarded nine recipients with Historic Preservation, Historic Structure Studies, Planning, and Urgent/Emergency Grants totaling $252,430.
“The Municipal Auditorium has been the location of many events since it was completed in the early 1940s that has touched not only the lives of our residents but many guests as well. It’s located in the heart of downtown, and it is an enduring architectural structure in Thomasville,” said Hayes. “We are looking forward to sharing the results of the HPP with the public and receiving feedback to shape the future for this building.”
Attending the check presentation ceremony were local stakeholders such as Rick Ivey, Executive and Artistic Director of the Thomasville Entertainment Foundation, Leigh Burns of FTI, and several members of the City of Thomasville staff that have played a role in the development of the building and the grant application process.
For more information about the Fox Theatre Grant or the Thomasville Municipal Auditorium, please visit Thomasvillega.com or call the Thomasville Visitors Center at 229-228-7977.