ELMHURST – The Elmhurst Centre for Performing Arts continues to make progress on its mission to bring a permanent performing arts center to the city of Elmhurst.
The nonprofit organization will hold its third gala fundraiser, Spotlight Gala 2018, from 7 to 11 p.m. Nov. 3 at the Elmhurst Art Museum, 150 Cottage Hill Ave., Elmhurst.
Board of Directors member Laura Michaud said the group has narrowed in on a couple spaces and plans to announce an update on the search for land and location.
The initiative to establish a center in downtown Elmhurst began in spring 2016, and it has received support from Elmhurst College and the city of Elmhurst, Michaud said. Elmhurst College is one of about 30 performing arts groups in and around Elmhurst that have expressed interest in using the center since they would like to work in a professional, state-of-the art facility, she said.
Past fundraising and some funding from the city enabled the nonprofit to have Johnson Consulting, a real estate and hospitality firm based in Chicago, conduct a study to determine whether the center would be financially viable and see what economic impact it would have on the city, Michaud said. The study was released in mid-January, and it determined it would be financially viable and benefit the community's economy.
Each attendee of a performing arts event will bring $49.50 to the community through related spending such as local shopping and dining, the study determined.
The organization held communiity meetings discussing the study in the spring and held two fundraisers earlier this year, with the facility committee "pounding the ground" to work with commercial realtors to find a space that could be converted for the center.
Shawna Roubitchek, one of three gala chairs, said the fundraiser will showcase the performing arts talent of Elmhurst, including performances by York Community High School band musicians, Evolution Dance, an Extensions Lyrical Dance performer who is a Sandburg Middle School student and Elmhurst resident Brian Patti's seven-piece orchestra.
Michaud said the gala will not be a sit-down event but rather a mingling of people enjoying heavy hors d'oeuvres, cocktails and entertainment. Tim Soszko from Elmhurst Children's Theatre will emcee the event.
"The event is just all about fun and community and friendships and celebrating performing arts. It's nice," she said.
Michaud added holding the event at the museum showcases the synergy between the visual and performing arts.
Roubitchek said there will be silent and live auctions. Items will include vacations, trips, chef's tables at restaurants and an Adrienne Landau-designed fur jacket.
Proceeds from the event will help with the land acquisition and related environmental studies and inspections, Michaud said. Upon finding the piece of land, the nonprofit will enter into a capital fundraising campaign. The nonprofit has raised nearly $200,000 since 2016, and it projects it will have raised more than $250,000 after the gala, she said.
The nonprofit will be looking for a donor base that will help fund the space, and there will be building naming rights, Michaud said.
She noted the "overwhelmingly positive support" from the community for the center has been "heartwarming."
"It keeps you going," Michaud said.
She said the center will bring a "vibe" to the city that isn't there right now.
"It'll increase the attractiveness of this community even more," Michaud said.
If you go
WHAT: Elmhurst Centre for Performing Arts' Spotlight Gala 2018
WHEN: 7 to 11 p.m. Nov. 3
WHERE: Elmhurst Art Museum, 150 Cottage Hill Ave., Elmhurst