To our beloved Hovey community,
This past year has pushed us all to seek out silver linings as we navigated through a very difficult time. For some, that’s meant slowing down and spending quality time at home perfecting that sourdough bread design, for others it was finally avoiding that horrible commute, or wearing pajama bottoms and a dressy top for your zoom calls.
At Hovey, we have seen our fair share of changes over our 85 year history. However, 2020 challenged us in ways we never knew were possible. The past year has pushed us to reimagine how we might sustain the theater financially and artistically in the community that we’ve called home for so many years. But it has also presented us with our own silver lining: the unique opportunity to pursue two strategic priorities that we’ve been thinking about for many years:
Renovating the space at Spring Street: The Abbott Theater is a wonderfully intimate space that has served us well for more than 40 years. And while we cherish all of its quirks and eccentricities, it’s no secret that the space is long overdue for a facelift! Hovey’s physical atmosphere doesn’t quite match the professionalism of its productions and we’re excited to take advantage of our unexpected downtime to make some key renovations. Aside from creating a more welcoming aesthetic, we want to ensure the theater is as clean, safe, and ready for our community to return to the space.
Enhancing our presence and collaboration with the Waltham community: In addition to renovating Spring Street, we have long wanted to find a larger venue to expand our work and roots within the city of Waltham. We are actively working to identify a new space where a coalition of performing, visual, and fine artists can collaborate, share their work, and give back to the community. We are thrilled by this developing project as it will not only provide Hovey with a second performance venue, but increase our opportunities and flexibilities for artistic creation and collaboration.
We are absolutely delighted by these developments, but both come at an expense. This is especially challenging after a year that wreaked havoc on the operating budgets of theaters around the world. But now is the time for a bit of hope - particularly as restrictions are lightening, vaccine distribution is accelerating, and the light at the end of this long tunnel is drawing near. Today, we are excited to formally launch a fundraising campaign that we’re calling Hovey Refresh, Reopen, Reimagine.
The goal of this campaign is to enhance Hovey’s impact and ensure our lasting sustainability. Hovey Refresh, Reopen, Reimagine will help us create a higher quality experience for our artists, technical teams, and patrons through the two strategic priorities described above. Executing on this vision includes updating the theater walls, our lobby and lounge, greenroom and bathrooms, installing new flooring, and painting the entire theater. We will also be investing in new furnishings, artwork, updated lighting and sound systems, and technology to allow for livestream functionality at both Spring St and the new space. And most critically, these funds will help us create a safer environment by purchasing the necessary sanitation materials, installing a new air purifying system, developing a contactless environment in the lobby that includes an upgraded payment system and a digitized playbill, and providing PPE for theater staff and volunteers.
We are working tirelessly to bring live theater back to the community - both in person and streamed virtually - but we can’t do it without your help. We hope that you'll consider making a contribution to help us get to the other side of the pandemic and beyond.
Thank you for your continued support!