theater grant

BOONE — John Cooper said that “Santa came early this year” for the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country as the theater received an offer from an anonymous donor for a one-to-one matching grant for new contributions received through Jan 31.

“Most of our generous donors make their year-end contributions in the last weeks of December,” said Cooper, the past chair of the Appalachian Theatre’s Board of Trustees and head of the historic landmark’s resource development committee. “This unexpected gift provides an incentive to dig a little deeper in their philanthropy knowing that any and all new gifts will be matched dollar- for-dollar.”

The theater stated that the surprise challenge gift is for up to $100,000, meaning the donor will match up to that amount of the new donations that are given. Cooper said he hopes that this challenge will also incentivize first-time contributors who may be considering their initial donation to the theater.

The theater’s Executive Director, Laura Kratt, said she is thrilled to receive news of the challenge grant and that “any gift that is not part of an existing commitment will help the theatre make the most of this unprecedented opportunity.” New donations could be through an annual membership, participation in the theater’s ‘Take-A-Seat’ campaign, a new pledge to its capital campaign or a year-end philanthropic contribution.

“If you’ve ever thought, ‘I’d like to do more to help the Appalachian,’ now is the time,” Kratt said. “This is a great chance for you to make a powerful impact, knowing that the first $100,000 received will be doubled.”

Opened in 1938 as the region’s premiere movie house with a vaudeville stage, the theater thrived for seven decades before closing in 2007. It sat empty until Oct. 14, 2019, when the Appalachian Theatre reopened its doors after a $10 million renovation that brought the distinctive Art Deco details back to this historic theatre. The historic Appalachian Theatre has entertained regional audiences in the heart of downtown Boone for 82 years.

For more information about the challenge grant, the matching gift program or other giving opportunities, visit the theater’s website is

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