The Board of Directors of the Tibbits Opera Foundation and Arts Council, Inc. has launched a fundraising matching challenge campaign in an effort to raise $15,000, approximately one month’s expenses for the historic Tibbits Opera House theatre.

Tibbits’ leadership has agreed to match all new donations to Tibbits in September and October, dollar for dollar, up to $7,500.  The COVID Pandemic, and the resulting lockouts and shutdowns, has kept the theatre closed. While they adapted for Summer Theatre, the closure has eliminated all of Tibbits’ fall programming. The campaign is designed to supplement the loss of revenue for the fall season.

Rick Merrill, Tibbits Opera Foundation Board President said, “As evidenced by our ever-changing summer theatre season, this year has been a challenge for us, but with your assistance, we have conquered COVID one show at a time! Unfortunately, we foresee that the near future will continue to be a challenge for us. We are challenging all of our Tibbits friends, supporters, and community to this fundraising match.”

With the uncertainty of the governor’s Executive Orders and when theatres will be allowed to open, the Opera House is unable to schedule any live events. Last year, the theatre received revenue through ticket sales from its Tibbits Young Audiences production, its production of “Next to Normal,” the Classic Films Series, the Smith Thank You concert, as well as rentals from Branch County Community Theatre, Branch County Community Band, and numerous private events.

According to Tibbits Executive Director Christine Delaney, “As the center for arts, culture, and entertainment for our community, Tibbits staff is pressing forward to assure the theatre remains strong and is ready to reopen when the time comes. We are grateful for the leadership of our board.”

Those wishing to support the campaign may make a donation at, on Tibbits’ Facebook page, by calling 517.278.6029, or in person at the Tibbits Administrative Offices at 93 W. Chicago Street in Coldwater.

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