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Karamu House Looking Forward to Its 101st Season After Re-Gaining Non-Profit Status

photo of Karamu House

Karamu House in Cleveland is looking ahead to its next season and a major facelift after re-gaining non-profit status from the IRS.

The 101-year-old theater made several cuts in the past season under CEO Tony Sias following several years of interim leadership and the loss of grants from the United Way.

Now, Sias says the theater can close the book on its 100th season and look ahead to what he calls “Karamu 2.0.”

“We are launching new community programs which will include film presentations, spoken word and live music, coupled with launching our 2016-2017 season in early September.”

Sias says a new website will launch next week and, in August, Karamu House will begin a $1.8 million renovation paid for by grants from the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission.

With the status renewed, Sias says the theater is looking forward to a major renovation, which includes a new roof.

“Starting in January 2017, the theater wing will shut down for complete renovations, which will include new stage lighting, seating ADA-accessibility around the facility, some lighting [and] signage.  So, we’re really excited to be getting this much-needed facelift.”

Sias is hopeful the project will done by the start of the theater’s 102nd season next fall.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.