Kaye Ballard Theater Receives $175,000 Matching Challenge Donation – Launches 90-Day Fundraising Drive to Complete Theater’s Rebuild

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JOSHUA TREE, CA – This is truly an exciting time for everyone who once experienced live theater and music at the Hi-Desert Cultural Center’s iconic large theater, now named the Kaye Ballard Theater.  Because of the incredible business plan developed by business professionals who volunteer their time for the Center – a plan that creates a self-sustaining cultural arts center – an unparalleled opportunity has been presented to the Center.

Following a generous $25,000 donation made by William Gillespie of the William Gillespie Foundation, where Gillespie recognized the Center’s plan as “an impressive revitalization project for the community”, the Center has received an incredible offer to match DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR all donations made to help finish the final renovation phase of the 300-seat theater, up to $125,000 with a bonus of $50,000 if the full $125,000 is raised within 90 days.  That would mean $125,000 in donations turns into $300,000 – which is enough to finish the main theater, and enough to open its doors and bring new opportunities for employment, education, and entertainment to the Desert communities and beyond.

The Center invites you to make a gift or a pledge now of any amount to the Hi-Desert Cultural Center Kaye Ballard Theater Re-Building Fund.  Exciting donor opportunities ranging from naming a seat to being on the soon-to-be announced “Hi-Desert Walk of Fame” where you or a loved one can have a star next to Kaye Ballard, Ben Stiller, Jerry & Anne Meara Stiller, Joy Behar, Barry Manilow, Phyllis Diller, Ann-Margret and more!  Donor recognition levels and naming opportunities are available online at www.hidesertculturalcenter.com or, if preferred, a Center representative will be happy to meet with you to discuss the Center’s plans and your donation.  Donations may also be mailed to the Hi-Desert Cultural Center at P.O. Box 128, Joshua Tree, CA 92252.

In early January the Center will be launching its new Facebook page to keep donors and the public advised of the progress as the Center counts down to opening the doors once again.  For more information on the new Kaye Ballard Theater, you may also view the new online brochure available on the Center’s website.

The theater was flooded out in 2007 and is now being rebuilt into a facility far more versatile than any other in the Morongo Basin or Coachella Valley.  While preserving the unique authentic façade design, the interior is being renovated to offer not only live performance, but also to be available as a full sound stage to be used by commercial entities – with the results being income that can support the arts at levels never before imagined here.  The Cultural Center has annually provided more than 75,000 hours of service to over 6,000 patrons and program participants with its musical concerts, educational programs, live performances, violin classes, summer youth theater, HealthRHYTHMS™ recreational drumming, scholarship recitals and more.   Complete with a live professional-quality sound stage and post-production facilities, the renovated theater complex will directly generate revenue, taxes, technical training, and employment for the Morongo Basin communities, in addition to providing top-quality performances that will draw audiences and revenue sources from beyond the area and create a self-sustaining performing arts and cultural center for the region.

With well over three-quarters of a million dollars in unencumbered assets, no debt, and substantial renovation already completed in the new facilities, the new theater will be a state-of-the-art venue utilizing green technologies where feasible – including the installation of a new energy-efficient lighting system that will reduce stage and theater lighting costs and electricity consumption by an estimated 85%.  Its newly-installed electronic monitoring and fire suppression system substantially reduces the likelihood of a flood similar to that which destroyed the theater and does not use water laden with chemicals.  The theater has also already replaced its outdated air conditioning and heating system with a commercial multi-zone, perfectly quiet, HVAC system rated at 14 SEER and has begun the construction of its water-wise demonstration garden.  Many other renovations have been completed, including the installation of new and expanded ADA-compliant restrooms that were a project undertaken by the County of San Bernardino.

For more information visit www.hidesertculturalcenter.com or call the box office at 760-366-3777.  The Hi-Desert Playhouse Guild, Inc. dba Hi-Desert Cultural Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation with EIN 23-7425816 and California Charitable Trust number 008976.  All donations are fully tax deductible as allowed under the law.

PHOTO CAPTION: Cultural Center President Jarrod Radnich and celebrity entertainer Kaye Ballard stand in front of the Center’s newly renamed “Kaye Ballard Theater”.

PHOTO CREDIT: Robert Spoecker, HDCC Photographer.


GREAT NEWS FOR SEASON PACKAGE TICKET HOLDERS! Should your schedule change and you find yourself needing to attend a performance on a different date — if you give the Box Office at least 48 hours notice prior to your ticketed performance, management will attempt to exchange your ticket for a different performance of the same show!