Timber Lake Playhouse Announces Receipt of a Tourism Attraction Grant through the Department of Comm
The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO), Office of Tourism has announced the recipients of a grant program designed to increase tourism across the state. This grant, which hasn't been awarded since 2015, will help bolster the state's tourism industry which generated over $3 billion in tax revenue for state and local communities last year. Timber Lake Playhouse in Mount Carroll, Illinois, has received one of those grants.
The Tourism Attraction Grant Program will help develop new or enhance existing tourism attractions to grow visitation and overnight stays in Illinois. DCEO provided grant funding to 13 organizations in the amount of $1.4 million. There was significant demand for this grant program, receiving four times the number of requests than available funding. Timber Lake Playhouse will use the grant money to winterize its theatre to extend its theatre production season from May into December. This project will increase visitation and tourism expenditures by adding additional production weeks to the TLP calendar.
"Travel and tourism in Illinois is a $40 billion industry and we are glad to support our communities in their efforts to attract new and returning visitors to their attractions," said Erin Guthrie, Acting Director of the Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity (DCEO). "We are glad DCEO can support the tourism economy in local communities with these grant programs."
The project will include new heating and cooling in the theatre and a lobby enclosure to create an indoor lobby area. “We are working with our architect and contractors to keep the outdoor feel to our lobby,” said Executive Director, Dan Danielowski. “Using glass doors across the front of the theatre will allow us to open three-fourths of the front in warm weather and close it entirely in the cold weather.” Danielowski and Artistic Director Paul Stancato are now looking at programming for the fall and winter. “We are committed to programming through December at this point, “said Stancato.
“This grant came at a perfect time,” said Board President, Robin Saar. “We were just about to unveil a capital campaign that would address the needs of the theatre for the next several years.” The building needs include additional housing, rehearsal areas, and dining facilities as well as the theatre winterization project. “The $95,000 grant from DCEO gives us quite a jump start,” Danielowski stated. The theatre has to raise funds to match the state grant. “We have a donor who will match, dollar for dollar, all donations up to $100,000,” said Danielowski. “This is a great first step in raising the funds we need for this project and to start the next.” The total campaign for all projects over the next five years totals $1.4 million.
TLP takes their responsibility in the economic welfare of the community and their place in area tourism seriously. "Developing new attractions and events is necessary to attract new audiences to visit Illinois. These grants will result in increased visitor spending in local communities, generating revenue and creating jobs for Illinoisans," said Jan Kemmerling, Acting Deputy Director of the Illinois Office of Tourism. With the completion of this project, TLP expects to attract over 5,000 new visitors to the playhouse.
“We really thank the governor and the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity for this grant,” said Danielowski. “In my career, I have seen very few grants that could be used for capital improvements available for theatres of our kind.”
If you are interested in helping Timber Lake Playhouse reach their goals, you can call the box office at (815) 244-2035 or contribute online at www.timberlakeplayhouse.org or sent to Timber Lake Playhouse, 8215 Black Oak Road, Mount Carroll, IL 61053. Questions can be directed to Dan Danielowski at (815) 244-2048.