Newhall Family Theatre foundation selects board members

The Newhall Family Theatre for the Performing Arts. Signal file photo.

The Newhall Family Theatre for the Performing Arts selected 11 inaugural board members to serve on the Board of Directors for the theater’s nonprofit foundation.

For about one month, the Newhall Family Theatre opened applications for the Board of Directors. During this time, the theater received 25 applicant responses to its candidate questionnaire.

“It was not an easy task to select this board,” Newhall Family Theatre Manager Tom Lund said. “We ultimately received 25 applicants and determined the theater would be best served by an 11-member board.”

These new board members include: Linda Candib, Joelle Danaher, Mary Ferguson, Jeni Fitzgerald, Jen Franco, Marlee Lauffer, Donna Manfredi, Kyla Mayer, Kelly Miyake, Suzan Solomon and Lisha Yakub.

Some of the board members have experience as teachers, administrators, Governing Board members, business owners and arts education advocates.

“Each of these newly appointed Newhall Theatre Board members brings a wealth of experience and knowledge that will be an absolute asset to the organization,” Lund said. “This board will ensure that the Newhall Family Theatre for the Performing Arts becomes a valuable part of the community.”

Tentatively named the Raising the Curtain Foundation, the nonprofit will help raise funds for the district’s newly renovated theatre and support the programming of the theater’s events.

The foundation’s board will also work to create a business strategy for the foundation that focuses on bringing arts education programs and entertainment to the theater for the Santa Clarita Valley community.

In March 2016, the Newhall School District broke ground on renovations to the 529-seat family theatre. The $4.8 million renovations improved the theatre’s acoustics and audio-visual capabilities, expanded the stage, renovated the lobby and added a new outdoor patio area.

This is the first time the art-deco style theatre has been updated since it was originally built in 1941.

The theatre served as Newhall Elementary School’s auditorium and as a community resource until the 1970s when it was converted to storage space to satisfy the state’s space usage requirements for schools.

It remained a warehouse for approximately 40 years before community advocates worked to restore the theatre as a performance and gathering space.

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