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  • Lisa N. Scheck

Sunderland Foundation Awards $100,000 Grant for Continued Renovation of Historic Coffeyville Theater

Updated: Sep 16, 2021

The Coffeyville Area Community Foundation recently received a $100,000 grant from the Sunderland Foundation designated for The Midland Theater renovation. The grant provides funding to renovate both levels of the Theater’s backstage allowing the generous stage area to open as a venue for youth arts, theater education, cultural, and community activities.

The Sunderland Foundation grant will be used to make significant improvements on both the upper and lower stage areas. The grant provides for project work to bring these areas up to code with new HVAC, plumbing, and electrical services. A new stairway system will provide safe access to the lower level and stagecraft areas. When completed the large, main stage area will be reinforced to meet code, and ready for multi-use events.


The Sunderland Foundation’s mission is to improve quality of life through reinvesting in the communities where the Ash Grove Cement Company has historically operated. The Sunderland Foundation supports construction and special projects that allow nonprofits to fulfill their missions.


The Midland Theater Foundation’s mission is to create a world class theater and event center that contributes to a healthy community through education, arts and community involvement while serving as an economic driver for our historic downtown.


“We are extremely grateful to the Sunderland Foundation for their generous support to renovate the backstage of the historic Midland Theater in downtown Coffeyville,” said Janie DeVore Gillis, Coffeyville Area Community Foundation. “The backstage project is a critical step towards opening the Theater to serve our community.”


The Midland Theater’s fundraising strategy is based on a fund-build-use plan that provides for smaller venues within the theater to be completed to serve the community as the renovation proceeds. Upon the completion of each project the theater will open these areas for use.


“It is wonderful to receive this significant grant award from The Sunderland Foundation. The grant will allow work on the Midland Theater backstage project and front lobby area to occur at the same time which will be more efficient and lead to faster completion,” said Denise York, Midland Theater Foundation Treasurer and Project Coordinator.


The four project fund-build-use plan divides the completion of the theater into four projects and the adjoining planned event center into two projects. The projects to complete restoration of the historic Midland Theater are a priority. When completed, the Midland Theater will provide an entertainment and educational hub serving our community and the greater Southeast Kansas area.

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