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    November 29, 2017



    Raue Center For The Arts launched a campaign to help stay alive and THRIVE! The 501(c)3 organization is  facing financial challenges and is seeking an increase in funding from the City of Crystal Lake. Raue Center is asking for community support leading up to the City Council meeting on
    December 5, 2017. “Help us by encouraging the City to increase annual contributions to support building maintenance and programming,” says Raue Center Board President, Tim Paul. “Raue Center is a vital contributor to the economic well being of the Crystal Lake region. Let your voice be heard by the city and show your support for Raue Center.”

    Raue Center and the City of Crystal Lake have enjoyed a prosperous partnership. Prior to the opening of Raue Center in 2001, Downtown Crystal Lake had empty storefronts, low traffic and the general malaise that is evident in many downtown areas. Today, Downtown Crystal Lake boasts fully leased retail property and hosts over 40 community events that fill the streets, shops and restaurants. Crystal Lake is one of the Top 10 Small Cities in the U.S. It now has the best downtown area in the region, in part because of Raue Center. Over the last 16 years, Raue Center has brought world-class quality entertainment to Crystal Lake and has attracted 1 million people to the city in the process. It generates an estimated $250,000 in annual tax revenue and has generated approximately $32 million for the Crystal Lake economy. In turn, Raue Center has received ongoing financial support from the city. In recent years, Raue Center has received $151,000 from Hotel/Motel taxes annually and the City of Crystal Lake supported major repairs to the theater in 2010 and 2013. Raue Center is appreciative of the support it receives from Crystal Lake. It is now asking the city and the Civic Center Authority (CCA) to increase their investment in the theater in order to continue to generate economic benefit.
    When compared to similar theaters across the region, Raue Center receives less funding for its size. For example, the Village of Arlington Heights provides the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, which seats 250, with an average of $150,000 annually. Raue Center seats 750. While Raue Center is grateful to the City of Crystal Lake for its partnership and commitment to the organization, more support is needed. Raue Center is comprised of the building, which is owned by the CCA, and the 501(c)3 organization which operates the theater. Since 2001, Raue Center has leased the building at triple net, which requires the nonprofit organization to pay expenses, real estate taxes, maintenance and repairs. Raue Center has been paying down the renovation debt on the building over the last 16 years.
    Through events, sponsorships, fundraising and grants, Raue Center paid 75% of the building debt. This is more than $6.6 million on the original cost of $8.8 million, for the refurbishment and loan. The current
    balance due is in excess of $2 million. Crystal Lake and the CCA are requesting that Raue Center sign the $2 million note and take on the debt, while Raue Center does not, and will not, own the building.

    Raue Center cannot afford to commit to the note without the City of Crystal Lake committing to provide an increase to the organization’s annual funding. The nonprofit is recommending a study of the financial
    impact of Raue Center and the city’s investment into the organization be conducted in order to
    determine the most appropriate and balanced financial structure for the future of Raue Center and the
    City of Crystal Lake.

    Raue Center is requesting the City of Crystal Lake provide an Annual Program Operation grant of
    $109,000 in addition to the $151,000 currently provided through the Hotel/Motel tax for a total of
    $260,000. This would ensure that the Raue could continue to drive the estimated tax revenue impact of
    $250,000 for the City of Crystal Lake. The overall economic impact is estimated at $3.75 million per year. Raue Center is also requesting an Annual Building grant of $140,000 per year over the next 10 years to fund major building repair and maintenance expenses. Repairs will be facilitated by Raue Center, approved by the city and the CCA, and unexpended funds will be returned to the CCA.
    In the past, Raue Center has steered funds away from its mission to provide for a building that it does
    not own. This increased commitment from the City of Crystal Lake and the CCA will allow Raue Center to continue fueling the economic development of the region through continued performances. Without
    the support of the city and the CCA, Raue Center will no longer be able to continue to operate.
    Raue Center is asking for community support at this critical crossroad. Residents and business leaders
    are asked to weigh in their support through email, video, social media and more. “Please help us tell the city that Raue Center is vital to our community,” says Paul. “The community’s response to Raue Center’s current financial challenge can have an impact on the outcome. Supporters of Raue Center can encourage the City of Crystal Lake and the CCA to help the organization thrive. Visit rauecenter.org/about-us/future. Sign the petition, email names, addresses and support. Post on social media. Attend a video filming for community testimonials at the theater on November 25, 2017. Take action today!”

    About Raue Center For The Arts
    Raue Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of all through the arts.
    For 16 years, they have provided quality programming – striving to make it pertinent, available and
    affordable to all. As a painstakingly restored, 1920s regional showcase theater named for its
    benefactor—Lucile Raue—Raue Center has attracted the finest stars, Broadway shows, musicians and
    artists. Named on the League of Historic American Theaters, Raue Center is one of the finest examples
    of restored art and decor in the nation. The 750-seat theater, located in historic downtown Crystal Lake,
    Ill., is a gathering place for our region’s citizens and has become a true destination. For additional
    information, visit rauecenter.org, facebook.com/RaueCenter and twitter.com/RaueCenter.

    Raue Center for the Arts
    108 Minnie Street ∙ Crystal Lake ∙ Illinois ∙ 60014
    815.356.9010 ∙ rauecenter.org

    Justin Wellington
    (815) 356-9212
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