When we launched this capital campaign, we set a goal to raise $500,000 from the community and we are thrilled to share with you first, WE DID IT! We met that goal and we are so grateful, honored, and encouraged by all the support we’ve seen.
This past year has been a wonderful adventure for us. While we never opened Art House with our eyes on the Historic Babcock Theatre, we felt even though our hands were full with the Phase 2 Campaign and managing Art House, we were the right fit for that theatre and it would enhance our work in Billings. After being awarded management of The Babcock in 2018, we began working diligently to clean, renovate, and bring life back to the beautiful space. In November 2018, we reopened The Babcock as a cinema, showing the best first run, big budget films. We knew it would be a lot of work, but we knew it would be worth it.
We also knew that our work with The Babcock may slow down our timeline for Phase 2. We continued working towards our Phase 2 goals, but our Board of Directors want to make sure to have a healthy period of time with The Babcock under our belt before we started making the big calls on Phase 2. As the Babcock continues to go well for us and we feel more confident in its operations, and we now feel ready to move forward with many things!
So let us share where we are at with Phase 2.
- In May, we completed our design and development renderings. Our architects at 2North have done an amazing job of getting our vision down on paper. We’re working on the 3D renderings of the space to give you the best picture of what’s ahead and we will share those with you as soon as we have them in our hands.
- We are now ready to start drawing up construction documents. This will take time, but it allows us to start drilling down on the budget. We have done our due diligence to realistically approach this project, but we know there are many ways to save money in our build out. Whether that’s through volunteer labor, cost cutting design decisions, or other creative choices we make, we believe we can offer the full first-class Art House experience and find ways to save money.
- This November and December, we will work towards getting bids for construction. With our plans nailed down, we will begin approaching different companies and professionals asking them for help in making Phase 2 a reality.
- Our current plan is to begin construction in 2020!
In the meantime, we are still raising funds, in order to keep our financing costs as low as possible for our buildout. We will do this through regular donations and theater tips, fun events (stay tuned), and special giving days, such as Giving Tuesday.
In addition, we are going after a handful of grants, both large and small to help us purchase the building and complete construction.
We have seen such an incredible response from our city and you are a vital part of that story. It is our hope that as Art House brings life to Billings for decades to come. And if you have donated, the day is coming when every time you step through our doors you can find your name on our donor walls, on a theater seat, or tell the story to your friends and family, “This happened because of me.”
So Art House friends, THANK YOU for joining us on this amazing journey and THANK YOU for your continuous love and support.
We can’t wait to share Phase 2 with you!
Matt, Nicole, and the Art House Team