West Side Arts Groups Announce Merger
Cincinnati Landmark Productions and Madcap Puppets Combine to Create Multi-Faceted Performing Arts Organization with New Education Center Facility in Westwood
Officials from Cincinnati Landmark Productions and Madcap Puppets announced a merger of the two venerable west-side arts organizations, as well as new funding that will make possible the long-awaited puppet and education center in Westwood.
Cincinnati Landmark Productions (CLP) is the non-profit owner and operator of the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts in West Price Hill and the Warsaw Federal Incline Theater in East Price Hill. Madcap Puppets – based in Westwood – has provided touring children’s programming since 1981 and annually presents over 600 performances across 15 states for 160,000 children.
Madcap Puppets becomes a division of Cincinnati Landmark Productions and will continue to tour and offer its in-town programming.
“It’s a thrill to have Madcap Puppets join with Cincinnati Landmark Productions,” said Tim Perrino, Executive Artistic Director of Cincinnati Landmark Productions. “As the Madcap Education Center comes on line, it will be home to the trademark life-size puppet performances, a jumping off point for show tours but also a hub for classes, camps and performing arts education opportunities – in the heart of Westwood’s revitalized business district and across the street from Westwood Town Hall where Cincinnati Landmark Productions was born as Cincinnati Young People’s Theater in 1982. It truly is a homecoming for this newly merged company.”
“The merger between CLP and Madcap gives us the opportunity to build a larger and more engaged audience for puppet theatre in Cincinnati," said Dylan Shelton, Artistic Director for Madcap. “The growth potential is very exciting.”
Officials from the arts groups also joined City of Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley and representatives from Cincinnati Development Fund and WestCURC to announce a partnership to utilize federal and state New Markets Tax Credits for Madcap’s previously announced Westwood project at 3064 Urwiler Ave. If successful, the project would be completed in concert with the city’s $4 million investment in the Westwood Town Hall property, located directly across the street.
“We’re confident that the new Madcap Education Center will have a tremendous impact for Westwood and for our city,” said Jeanne Golliher, President and CEO of Cincinnati Development Fund. “Cultural facilities projects like this can catalyze investment and development in a neighborhood. And with these two great arts organizations merged together at the helm, this is truly a project worth celebrating.”
“Since we acquired the building and plans for the Madcap Education Center were first announced, we have successfully worked to attract businesses that complement Madcap and the families and patrons who will come, and we are underway with the redevelopment of the Town Hall Park and Gaines Triangle,” said Elizabeth Bartley, Executive Director of WestCURC, Westwood’s urban redevelopment corporation. “All of this activity has kept Madcap at the center and now this anchor will play such a large role here for many years to come.”
This additional funding for the Madcap Education Center – the future home of Madcap Puppets and site of children’s programming, special events and arts education classes, workshops and summer camps – takes the $4.2 million project from roughly 20 percent funded to over 90 percent. Previous fundraising efforts account for roughly $1 million raised and expected New Markets Tax Credits net proceeds are estimated at $2.2 million. Cincinnati Landmark Productions and Madcap are contributing assets of roughly $600,000 toward the project.
Officials announced at the event the final stage of private fundraising to make the long-awaited project a reality. The project funding gap is estimated at $400,000.
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ABOUT CINCINNATI LANDMARK PRODUCTIONS
Cincinnati Landmark Productions has been serving the West Side for over 35 years – first through its Cincinnati Young People’s Theatre program and then through its ownership and management of the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts in West Price Hill. Since opening in 2002, the arts center quadrupled its subscribership. Attendance ballooned from 13,990 in the 2002-03 season to over 37,000 (representing 304 zip codes) last season. The Warsaw Federal Incline Theater, opened in June 2015, is a brand new, purpose-built, 229-seat performing arts center and parking garage in the Incline District in East Price Hill. Located at the corner of Matson Place and West 8th Street, the $6 million project was finished on time and on budget. All 45 performances during the debut 2015 Summer Classics Season were sold out.
Cincinnati-based Madcap Puppets is a non-profit company combining giant puppets with professional actors to create an innovative and exciting concept of puppetry that allows all the elements of theatre to be combined in an artistic and educational performance. Formed over 35 years ago, Madcap is known throughout the country for exciting productions and giant puppet characters. Each puppet play is developed from an original and highly creative script, rich in cultural content and enhanced with innovative and colorful sets and props that young audiences love. Performances bring to life children’s literature and fables from around the world.