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Stuart’s Opera House receives grant to install air purification units

Stuart's Opera House has been a part of Nelsonville, Ohio since the 19th century. It hosts theatrical productions, along with dance and visual art exhibits. Recently, Stuart’s Opera House received a grant from Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, or FAO. 

The money will allow Stuart's Opera House to install air purification systems. Angela Anderson, chief development officer of Stuart's Opera House, believes these systems are essential in a post-pandemic world for Stuart’s.

"As a result of the pandemic, we were ordered shut down by the Governor," Anderson said in a message. "We were able to install air purification systems so that when we were permitted to once again open, our theater would be as safe as possible for our patrons."

Anderson said the health department recommended the air purification system so patrons can reap the benefits. 

"Clean, purified air is important and demonstrates that we care about our employees and visitors to our theater," Anderson said in a message. "So while clean air is not seen, it is certainly beneficial to all that visit our historic opera house."

The grant was made possible through Cause Connector, FAO's digital giving platform. Through Cause Connector, donors are able to connect with and support nonprofit projects that launch a program or serve residents in Appalachian Ohio. 

The first round of Cause Connector ended this past April. $250,000 was raised, supporting 88 projects across the 32 counties in Appalachian Ohio. 

Organizations in the region can submit a project to be listed on Cause Connector. The reasons for projects vary; some may result from the pandemic or address a critical community need. Others may submit a project to help launch a new effort or raise money to scale a program. 

Funding for the grants comes from the generosity of donors. FAO distributes funding through grant awards once projects are funded.

"Donations of all sizes helped Stuart's Opera House reach their goal to purchase and install seven rooftop air purification units which would help improve air quality for the venue, a top priority during the recent venue reopening,"  Emily Vigue, program manager at FAO, said in an email. "Stuart's Opera House has a long history of cultural and artistic expression in the region, and donors were excited to give to a project to help them safely reopen. Both Stuart's Opera House and FAO helped raise funding for their Cause Connector project."

Appalachian Ohio has access to fewer grant and scholarship dollars per capita than the rest of the state. 

"This ‘philanthropy gap’ means the region's students, nonprofits, schools, and community organizations have less support to continue education, meet pressing needs, and pursue opportunities," Vigue said in an email. "Cause Connector was designed with the Philanthropy Gap in mind and was built to provide immediate support to investment-ready projects working to make a difference today in Appalachian Ohio. The first round of Cause Connector was able to impact all 32 counties in Appalachian Ohio, making an immediate difference on a local level."

The first round of Cause Connector was such a success that FAO is planning for a second round to launch next year, February 14, 2022.

As for Stuart’s Opera House, there are many upcoming events, including a free summer concert on July 15 at Robbins Crossing, on the campus of Hocking College. Also, starting in August through the beginning part of October, Stuart’s is presenting multiple artists. Artists include Todd Snider, Town Mountain, Taj Mahal, Okkervil River & Damien Jurado and Rhonda Vincent and The Rage. Stuart’s will also be co-presenting at the first Hocking Hills Music Festival on October 8 and 9. 

"We are excited to be selling tickets and again hosting live music," Anderson said in a message. Those interested can learn more about Stuart's Opera House through its Facebook, Instagram or website


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