Theatre is Strong Despite Challenges of 2021

Theatre is Strong Despite Challenges of 2021

COLDWATER – With the addition of entertainment and check presentations, Tibbits Opera Foundation & Arts Council, Inc. held its annual meeting as a combined virtual and in-person event at the historic opera house Thursday, January 27, 2022.  

Tibbits Board member and Smith Memorial Concert organizer Diane Pridgeon presented $1000 checks to Coldwater High School, Reading High School, Union City High School and Pansophia Academy’s choir programs at Tibbits’ Annual Meeting. Dr. Jacob Simmons accepted the check for Coldwater High School.

Highlighting area choir programs, the evening opened with a recap of the Smith Memorial Benefit Concert and master class held in September and a performance by Lexie Galliers, one of the students who participated in the master class led by Coldwater High School graduate Chelsea Hart Melcher and her husband Paul Melcher. For participating in the master class, the choir programs from Coldwater High School, Reading High School, Union City High School and Pansophia Academy each received checks for $1000 presented by Diane Pridgeon. 

Students from Coldwater High School’s production of “Little Women” performed several musical numbers from the show. Attendees then enjoyed a video of Tibbits Summer Theatre which shared the behind-the-scenes perspective at the end of the season.

Tibbits Board President Chris Donbrock led the business portion of the meeting with an overview of the flexibility and adapting of the past year, commending the staff on their dedication. Tibbits Executive Director Christine Delaney commented on the year in terms of the importance of the membership. She said, “It’s the foundation of everything we do and in the past year it’s because of membership and the donations we’ve received that we have been able to remain strong.” She also related the positive bottom line to the lack of programming the theatre has been able to do through the restrictions. She pointed out, “Membership allows us to provide programming that is often offered at discounted ticket prices or presented at a break-even or sometimes even a loss. The profit you see should have been spent on our programming. You can see how much it was limited this past year.” She referenced the theatre’s annual report which had only a single page of events listed where there would normally be two and the pie chart of expenses which in other years half the chart would have represented the programming versus less than a quarter this year.

Students from Coldwater High School’s production of “Little Women” performed several musical numbers from the show as part of the evening’s entertainment prior to the business portion of the annual meeting.

The Annual Report for the organization provides a comprehensive view of the year. Board Treasurer Ken Norton pointed out the amazing support from the community which has carried the theatre through another year of challenges. Those donors are recognized throughout the book.

Also during the meeting, Jose Albarran, Donna Gardner and Joe Hughes were elected their second terms on the board. Officers for the Foundation were reelected at the organizational meeting which followed the annual meeting, Chris Donbrock president, John Bolton vice president, Ken Norton treasurer and Joe Hughes secretary.

Copies of the Tibbits Opera Foundation Annual Report are available at the administrative office at 93 W. Chicago St. or online at https://tibbits.org/about-tibbits/ under the organizational information tab. For more information on Tibbits or its events visit Tibbits.org or call 517-278-6029.

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