Nearly half the $9.5 million needed to secure state dollars to build a fine and performing arts center at East Tennessee State University has been raised. Assistant News Editor Rex Barber reported last week the ETSU Foundation has committed $1 million to the project.
That’s certainly good news, but there is still a lot of work to be done before the first shovel of dirt is turned for a performing arts center. Many more donations are needed to get the project into the home stretch.
For many years now, ETSU has craved a performing arts center. In fact, this entire community has been in need of such a facility for decades.
The project got a tremendous boost earlier this year when Gov. Bill Haslam earmarked $1.5 million for ETSU to use to begin planning for the arts center, which is projected to cost approximately $38 million. ETSU will be required to fund 25 percent of the project.
Local fundraising to build the center got off to an excellent start in February with a $3 million donation from Jim Martin. It was the latest of many gifts from Martin, who continues to honor his late wife by contributing to institutions and programs she held dear.
As we noted earlier this year, now is the time for all lovers of the arts to step up and do their part. It won’t be easy, but the worthwhile things seldom are.
For more information about the performing arts center, or how to contribute, call the ETSU University Advancement Office at 439-4242 or visit www.?etsu.edu/artsinitiative.