Dance camp kicks off campaign

Perry-Mansfield shares renovation ideas

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— Perry-Mansfield staff and directors presented a five-year $5 million campaign to a theater filled with donors, alumni, parents and the board of directors Wednesday night.

Before a showcase displaying this summer's professional faculty, Perry-Mansfield introduced the crowd to ideas and ways the 76-acre performing arts school and camp will refurbish and rebuild campus facilities.

"I screamed and yelled to make the camp move itself forward," said Bruce Roach, head of the theater department at Perry-Mansfield. "Now, some of those dreams will be coming true."

The goal of Perry-Mansfield is to renovate split-log performance and camp facilities and build two contemporary performance venues.

June Lindenmayer, executive director at Perry-Mansfield, noted in a newsletter that of the 51 buildings that lie on the campus grounds, 45 were built before 1957.

"We are here to carry the torch for Charlotte and Portia," Lindenmayer said of the two women who established Perry-Mansfield in 1913. "I think we've created this to move us forward. We've assembled the talent, now we need the tools."

The $5 million to be raised in the next five years will help rebuild foundations, construct new roofs, install appropriate plumbing and electrical systems, renovate kitchens and create a library of archives.

Particularly, the cabeen, main studio, Julie Harris Theater, main lodge, Glen dormitory and high school hill will be reconditioned.

Jim Steinberg, capital campaign chairman, said the campaign has raised $782,000 so far and has received 100 percent contribution from its board of directors.

"The performing arts are the greatest collaboration. Nothing is real until you have collaborated," Steinberg said.

Perry-Mansfield was training ground for celebrities such as Dustin Hoffman, Julie Harris, Lee Remick, Merce Cunningham and John Cage.

Steinberg told the audience that since Friends of Perry-Mansfield took over ownership from Stephens College in 1992, last year was the first year the school and camp has been able to survive a winter without borrowing money.

Charlotte Perry and Portia Mansfield gave the school and camp to Stephens College in 1965 when they no longer could manage the campus.

Nearly 30 years later, the local community collaborated to buy back Perry-Mansfield, and it now runs as a nonprofit organization.

The campus currently features four dance studios, one theater, two art studios, rehearsal spaces, a creative/play-writing studio, sleeping cabins, stables and an arena.

Lindenmayer said classes are being taught outside because of the lack of space indoors for performing and teaching.

"While you all who live in the Yampa Valley are hoping for rain this summer, we're hoping it stays dry," Lindenmayer said. "We want to see at least $250,000 by the time the leaves fall."

Campaign Director Steve Marshall assured potential donors that they would receive notable recognition on benches and large signs throughout the campus.

Marshall said the campaign affiliates hope for $2 million in the next two years with at least $1 million of that raised in Steamboat Springs.

Lindenmayer recognized David Taylor, who constructed the quilt,"Wildflower Ballet," as a silent auction fund-raiser for Perry-Mansfield.

Final bids for the quilt will be accepted until Madness deVine in the fall, Perry-Mansfield's annual fund-raiser.

Taylor crafted a quilt for String in the Mountains last year, which raised the organization $25,000.

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