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In 1920, a beautiful Methodist church was built in our small Kansas town. The building, with its majestic multi-story tall columns, became the gateway to the city and the heart of the downtown arts and business district.
Now ninety-nine years from its birth, the Kechi Playhouse structure has been showing its age and proved in dire need of repair. So, our community, known for its support and celebration of the arts, banded together to help.
In the summer of 2018, the Kechi Arts Council led a community campaign in hopes to raise $83,333 to bring the building back to its former glory. That amount would allow them to receive the maximum amount of matching dollars from a grant through the Kansas Department of Commerce. The grant matched each dollar raised by the campaign in triplicate, allowing another $250,000 to go toward the rehabilitation.
Many caring individual citizens as well as generous Kechi businesses and the Kechi City Commission rallied together to achieve the bold goal. A special gala was also held at Karg Art to raise funds for the campaign. With all that help, not only did we reach our goal but exceeded it by $12,000 in just six weeks.
Renovation work on the exterior of the building including the brick work, windows, roof, and eaves began in early fall 2019 and has just finished. We hope you enjoyed watching the deteriorating old building be transformed into that majestic structure it once was. The fruits of your generosity and labor have brought forth something in which the entire city can once again be proud!