Observing from beyond the solar system, a cultural outsider looks in.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

New Senator Community Trust Seeking Broad Community Involvement

What follows is an email message and press release I just received from Laura Thul Penza, on the Board of the Senator Community Trust and President of the Govanstowne Business Association:

Dear Neighbors, Businesses and Friends,

Please forward - help communicate with all who are interested in the fate of The Senator Theatre by forwarding this to your organization members, posting on your listserves or websites, sharing information at meetings, etc.

We have been informed by The City’s Steering Committee that The Senator Theatre is in imminent danger of going to auction and an uncertain future - within the next few weeks!

It is extremely important that everyone understands the gravity of the situation at The Senator, the last remaining single-screen in Baltimore! Although the City’s interest is not quite aligned with the community efforts, The SCT is working towards bridging the gap and hoping to convince the Steering Committee that keeping the doors open will be in the best interest of all.

The Senator Community Trust, LLC (SCT) has organized and is in the process of applying for non-profit status to begin long-term sustainable funding efforts, however a foreclosure action that might occur that quickly does not allow enough time for effective positive action.

Unless we organize immediately to raise the funds to intercede and stop the foreclosure, we will lose our ability to have any influence on the future of The Senator and its place in our community. Look for more details on this emergency fundraising campaign in a release to come out in the next couple days.

In the meantime, consider seeing a movie this weekend at The Senator or Rotunda – bring family, friends and co-workers. Your patronage does help keep the doors open!

For additional information, please take a look:

The Daily Record (Friday, February 27) Liz Farmer has written an informative article about the Senator Theatre situation: http://www.mddailyrecord.com/article.cfm?id=10848&type=UTTM

Also, various Friends of The Senator groups have formed, which publish updated information. These groups are working in coordination with one another and with The Senator Community Trust Board, and are described below.

Friends of The Senator Facebook Grouphttp://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=39720373765; e-mail: friendsofthesenator@live.com

Friends of The Senator Website http://friendsofthesenatortheatre.wordpress.com/.

Friends of The Senator Google Grouphttp://groups.google.com/group/friends-of-the-senator-theatre

AstroGirl's Galaxy GuideLaura Serena has a blog which contain MUCH useful information and links: http://astrogirlguides.blogspot.com/

The Senator Community Trust, LLC has been formed and is reaching out to all those interested in keeping the doors open during The Senator’s transition to become the premier community-based arts, education and entertainment venue in the region.

Thanks for your interest...please let us know if you have questions or if you care to get involved!
Attached is another press releases from The Senator Community Trust, and is also printed here for those unable to open or forward pdfs:

*********************FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE************************
New Senator Community Trust Seeking Broad Community Involvement

Upcoming town hall meeting will involve broader community in efforts to acquire Baltimore’s beloved Senator Theatre.

Baltimore, Maryland March 4, 2009 -- The new Senator Community Trust (SCT) announced today a public town hall meeting, scheduled for Saturday, March 14 at 1:00 PM at The Senator Theatre, 5904 York Road, Baltimore, Maryland. The SCT will seek input on options for future structures and uses for the theatre, and outline a plan for community-based acquisition of The Senator.

Members of the community who are working closely with current Senator management and city officials to try to stabilize and facilitate a smooth transition for the theatre will be on hand to discuss the varied film, music, arts, and educational uses that may become part of The Senator’s programming schedule in the near future. Many of these uses have already been demonstrated in recent events at The Senator.

The SCT plans to present an overview of the current financial picture, and announce the first phase of its capital campaign to raise money to stabilize The Senator’s immediate financial crisis and stop the impending foreclosure and auction.

“The Senator’s immediate financial crisis is very real. Unless the broader Senator community takes action now to raise money and bring the mortgage current, we are going to lose this landmark to auction and an uncertain future in the coming weeks,” said Sean Brescia who has been working to try to raise awareness for the urgency of the situation. “This is bigger than any one neighborhood. This is a city, state and even national icon, and we’re all stakeholders with an interest in The Senator’s future. It’s time to act on that.”

The formation of the Senator Community Trust and its vision are based on extensive feedback during a series of public meetings that began in early 2008. All interested members of the public and media are welcome and encouraged to attend. Representatives from city and state government and local foundations will also be invited.

About The Senator Community Trust LLC: To foster the vision of the Senator Theatre as a community-based non-profit organization, a group of local community and business leaders has organized The Senator Community Trust, LLC. The Senator Community Trust has as its mission the preservation, protection, and restoration of Baltimore’s cherished landmark, the historic Senator Theatre. The Senator Community Trust is working with theatre management toward community ownership of the theatre building.

Contact: Sherry Holland-Senter The Senator Community Trust, LLC senatorcommunitytrust@gmail.com

PDF Version

Thanks for your attention to this matter!


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