Homestake Opera House receives infrastructure grant

LEAD, S.D. -Homestake Opera House in Lead is in phase one of a major rejuvenation.

They call it a rejuvenation rather than a renovation because they plan to preserve the original layout of the opera house, which was built in 1914.

The historic opera house recently received a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

The NEH granted them a $375,000 infrastructure and capacity building grant, and the money will be distributed over a period of four years.

With that, the opera house must match the grant 1 to 3, meaning that the opera house must raise $1.125 million within the next four years.

“The main focus of everything that we’re doing right now is about the theater. The stage, the theater all of the things that need to be upgraded in this space to continue being a benefit to the community as it has for so long,” said development director Sarah Carlson.

Being that the grant is for infrastructure it will go towards phase one of their rejuvenation projects.

Phase one is all about installing electrical updates, ensuring fire and safety measures are updated, installing HVAC, and making sure areas are accessible for people of all abilities.

As of right now the opera house hosts tours year-round. It was once a gathering place for a variety of social activities; featuring a bowling alley, a pool, a library and game rooms.

“We work hand-in-hand with the South Dakota historical society to make sure that all of our plan follows right in line with the standards of historic preservation,” said Carlson.

It was devastated by a fire in 1984 but managed to come back and continue forward.  Today it mainly hosts arts and humanities programs in its theater.

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