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Glendale Arts fights to save Alex Theatre

April 10, 2012|By Ruth Sowby
  • Glendale Arts and the Alex Theatre staff led off their fundraising telephone campaign. From left are Maria Sahakian, Interim CEO Elissa Glickman and Nina Crowe.
Glendale Arts and the Alex Theatre staff led off their…

An organization better start moving if its staff expects to raise $75,000 by the end of the month. But that's what Interim CEO Elissa Glickman of the Glendale Arts and the Alex is determined to do. Without redevelopment funds, the future of the ownership of the Alex Theatre is in question. Glendale Arts supporters want the Alex to be transferred to the city of Glendale.

Glendale Arts' “I Heart Glendale Arts” fundraising campaign began with a soft launch in mid-March. That means it has a mere six weeks to meet its lofty goal. With a little help from its friends on Monday (April 2), a phone bank was set up in the training room of Massage Envy. The idea was for Glendale movers and shakers to man the phones to raise funds from their friends. From 1 to 8 p.m., fueled by a lot of pizza, soft drinks and pastries from Porto's, a frenzy of fundraising took place.

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Phone callers included such heavy hitters as Massage Envy owner Helen McDonagh, former Glendale Mayor Eileen Givens, Glendale Unified School Board President Joylene Wagner, Glendale College Foundation Executive Director Lisa Brooks, volunteer extraordinaire Stephen Ropfogel and business execs Patrick Campbell, Jim Wilke and Louie Sadd. Sadd, the son of accountancy mogul John Sadd, is an Alex vendor as head of DataStream. Louie meets all the information and technology needs of Glendale Arts and the Alex. This afternoon he was calling his friends in support of the Alex — ”an easy sell,” said Louie. He had raised about $200 in minutes.

Glickman explained that the Glendale Arts also has an online presence. By navigating to a fundraising page link, supporters can donate money to “teams” like the Glendale Arts team and the Historical Society team. Both organizations will benefit. There are also individual “teams” to which money can be donated for the benefit of Glendale Arts and the Alex. Glickman projected that the phone drive will gross about $14,000.

Glickman believes that financial issues could be resolved with the passage of a “carve-out” amendment that will allow cities to retain public facilities of cultural, historical or artistic value, purchased with redevelopment money, like the Alex Theatre.

For more information about this carve-out option, a briefing memo can be found on the Glendale Arts website at www.glendalearts.org and click on the blog section.

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