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Piedmont Players, Lee Street fundraising effort generates $25k so far

SALISBURY — Piedmont Players and Lee Street theaters have joined forces to keep theatrical performing arts alive here in spite of mandatory COVID-19 shutdowns.

So far, that effort has raised almost $25,000 to keep the lights on and stages available for the community. The two groups say the joint effort, called Theatre Salisbury, initially was approved before the pandemic with the hope of eliminating capital debt.

“Now we are just focusing on making sure our organizations make it through these unprecedented times,” said committee member Edward Norvell. 

Both theaters have been forced to close during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Linda Jones, who is also a Theatre Salisbury committee member and Lee Street board member, said she took for granted access to the arts before the pandemic and has used what she normally would pay for regular attendance at shows to make donations that ensure the theaters will be around when COVID-19 subsides.

Now that we are all staying home by necessity, I think that many people are realizing the social aspects of live theater are critically important,” said Board President of Piedmont Players and committee member Lori Van Wallendael.  “I miss taking my seat for a live performance; chatting with fellow audience members during intermission; talking to the cast after a show.  But to do that, we must do anything we can to keep theatre alive in the present.”

Donations to the Theatre Salisbury effort can be made online at either organization’s website (piedmontplayers.com or leestreet.org) or by sending a check to their respective mailing addresses. All donations are tax-deductible. 

A donation of any amount will help to keep the organizations afloat, a news release said.

“The organizations and efforts we support now, while we are going through this pandemic, will determine the quality of our community once we come out of it,” said Steve Drinkard, committee member and Lee Street board member.

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