Brown Grand launches effort to replace seats
The Brown Grand Opera House, Inc. is proud to announce a capital campaign to replace the 93-year-old seats in our historical Theatre. The current seats were donated from Bethany College and installed at the Brown Grand in 1980. At which point, the seats were already over 50 years old, and have now been a part of the Brown Grand for nearly 40 years.
Established in 1907, the Brown Grand is the largest arts and culture venue in North Central Kansas. With a vision to embrace the 21st century performance experience while preserving the historic theatre atmosphere, our goal is to have 477 new seats installed by September 2020. As the current seats are not original to the building, we aim to match the original 1907 style as closely as we can with the new seats. With this renovation in mind, the Board of Directors has also decided to return the second balcony to its original bench-style seating and place the 477 new seats in the orchestra and first balcony levels only – which are most commonly used.
Each year, the Brown Grand hosts over 7,500 audience members. The 2018-2019 season has welcomed patrons from Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri. Because our audiences travel from great distances, we constantly see the need to make the Theatre more welcoming and more comfortable. Executive Director, Jason Grogan states, “There was only a 0.5% grade slope on the floor at Presser Hall (Bethany College), and we have a 10% grade slope at the Brown Grand, which made the seats forward tilting when they were installed at the Brown Grand.” By having comfortable seating, we believe more patrons will be interested in attending a wider variety of events and performances at the Theatre.
The Board of Directors has established a subcommittee, chaired by Melissa Williamson, to execute this project. Board Chair, Monte Wentz said, “Melissa has been on the Board for over one year and she holds a master’s degree in Arts Administration from Boston University. She also has many years of fundraising experience, and we are thrilled to have her leading us through this process.”
You can play your part and help us “Seat the Next Generation” of arts goers by making a tax-deductible gift to support this project. Please call the Brown Grand at 785-243-2553 and speak with Executive Director, Jason Grogan. You can also visit us online at www.browngrand.org to make a secure contribution, or mail a donation to The Brown Grand Opera House, Inc., 310 W. 6th Street, Concordia, KS 66901. The old seats will also be for sale, if you are interested in keeping a piece of history from the Brown Grand, please contact Jason. We hope you will join us for upcoming performances at the Brown Grand soon!