Those in support of an arts and cultural center in Columbia County hope to raise $100,000 by the end of October.
Rob Nordan, who is spearheading the movement, said during a Thursday announcement that an account to fund part of the project was established on Sept. 1 at Queensborough National Bank & Trust.
"If we reach our $100,000 goal, then we will begin the process of actively pursuing the establishment of the facility," said Nordan, who is also music director of the Columbia County Orchestra Association.
The fund, which will remain open until Oct. 31, would pay for costs associated with initiating the project, including conceptual drawings and designs, attorney fees, land survey and possible land acquisition, Nordan said.
"At the end of this campaign, if the necessary funds are not raised, then all of the money will be returned to the contributors with a heartfelt thanks on my personal guarantee, and we will move on, Nordan said.
Contributions can be made at all branches of Queensborough National Bank, he said.
A handful of people involved in the county's arts community attended the announcement, which was held at Columbia County Ballet's Martinez studio.
"We don't have anywhere locally to perform," said Brandy Faulkner, an instructor at Stephanie's Dancers in Evans, after the session. "This would be unbelievable."
Earlier this year, Nordan formed a committee he calls the "dream team" to determine what type of facility would best fit the needs of the public and groups and organizations in the area.
In August, plans for the proposed facility were revealed to county residents and members of the arts community.
An auditorium for drama, dance and musical performances that would seat between 1,200 and 1,500 people is envisioned in the first phase. An outdoor covered amphitheater seating about 3,000 is planned for a later phase.
The building could also house an art exhibit gallery and rooms for music and science education.
The total project is estimated to cost about $17 million and is planned in four phases. Acquiring land for the project could cost about $2 million, Nordan said.
A location for the center has yet to be determined.
"We believe by constructing such a facility that people of all ages will be positively affected for many generations to come," Nordan said.
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