WEST CHESTER, PA — The Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center, West Chester, PA’s premier music and arts venue, is starting the New Year off with a bang revealing an unprecedented virtual fundraising milestone for its “Raise Up The Curtain” initiative and continued growth in all areas of operation.
The acclaimed theater’s NYE Livestream Gala, which featured talented singing and performing artists, generated more than $80,000 for Uptown’s “Raise Up! The Curtain” Campaign. The monies will match a campaign challenge pledge made by local philanthropist Penny Wilson, essentially doubling the impact of the Gala proceeds.
According to Molly Morrison, board secretary, the money raised through the “Raise UP! the Curtain” Campaign will “allow Uptown!to reopen with all new performances for our loyal patrons, as well as allow for the installation of safety features to enhance the onsite experience.” New safety features include an ionization air filtration system to improve air quality and reduce the transmission of airborne particles.
“As this was our first virtual New Year’s Eve show, we really weren’t sure what to expect,” said Morrison. “But thanks to the amazing talent, our staff – who worked tirelessly to make it a first-class event – the sponsors and donors, and our wonderful supporters, it was truly a night to remember.”
On the heels of the venue’s successful NYE show, Uptown! has also announced that April Evans has been officially named executive director as of December 2020. Evans, who was serving as the theater’s interim executive director prior to the announcement, has been with Uptown! since 2017 when she joined the team as the assistant director.
According to Holly Brown, board president,“under April’s guidance, she hasshown the resiliency necessary to keep the theater operational over the past 11 months.”
“We are thrilled to officially name April as our executive director,” Brown said.“In the more than four years that she has been part of our team, she has not only helped us successfully launch a thriving arts venue in Downtown West Chester, but has also shown strength, dedication, and the ability to pivot in the face of adversity. We look forward to achieving great things together.”
Evans, who has more than 20 years in the arts industry, is the former COO of the Chosen Dance Company in West Chester, PA where she worked for more than 16 years.
For more information about Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center or to make a donation, visit UptownWestChester.org or call 610.356.ARTS (2787).