The Bonafiglia Family Foundation has distributed a grant for $25,000 to the Seneca Falls Performing Arts Center, providing funding to begin the second phase of their plan to convert a local landmark property into an active, vibrant cultural arts center and events venue.
“We are so grateful and humbled by the Bonafiglia Family Foundation’s support of our project and their continued commitment to the quality of life and economic development of Seneca Falls”, said Mary McDonald, Board President of the SFPAC. Previously owned by the Seneca County House of Concern, the property was purchased by the Seneca Falls Performing Arts Center, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization established in 2018. The property includes the landmark 1870 First Congregational Church and adjoining parsonage.
The church and parsonage have been home to a variety of non-profit human service agencies for over fifty years, and the purchase of this building by a forward-thinking group of local community members now offers the delightful prospect of Seneca Falls having a venue not only for the creative and performing arts, but for a variety of other types of community activities.
Already having completed phase one of the project, the organization is focusing on phase two; renovating the rear portion of the church building (the “Annex”) to create an intimate gathering space that consists of the original meeting room for the church and a 1950’s addition. The goal of the current fund-raising campaign is to raise $400,000 so that the Annex can be open to the public in the fall of 2024. The Annex will provide a space for small events such as workshops, recitals, cabarets, and meetings, and will house a caterer’s kitchen and rest rooms for both the Annex and the Great Hall of the church. Events in the Annex will provide an additional revenue stream for the Center and bring foot traffic to other downtown businesses.
“The Town of Seneca Falls needs places and spaces for programming and events. The Seneca
Falls Performing Arts Center is an opportunity to help fill this gap and build upon community character & historic preservation. The Board of Directors of the SFPAC are being creative and thorough with seeking various funding sources & support to achieve their vision,” said Judy Wentzel, Executive Director for the Bonafiglia Family Foundation.
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