Venture and Rimrock Opera announce collaboration
Venture Theatre and Rimrock Opera Company are developing a community performing-arts center in the Venture Theatre building, the Venture Board of Directors announced Wednesday.
Both nonprofit entities will continue their current programming, such as Venture’s Youth Conservatory, Venture Into Schools, and Venture’s trademark musicals and plays. Rimrock Opera will continue presenting its main-stage opera productions at the Alberta Bair Theater, including the April production of “Aida.” ROC also will continue its Rimrock Opera Chorus for Kids (ROCK) youth program, Opera 101 classes and other educational outreach endeavors.
Venture’s board said it believes the Venture building is a key asset, yet the space could be used more often through collaborations with other arts groups. ROC will not assume any of Venture Theatre’s $130,000 debt, but will begin moving some of its operations into the Venture building later this year.
All main stage operas will continue to be produced at the ABT, but Venture would be used for rehearsal space and the ROCK group could practice and perform at the downtown theater, ROC board president Lucinda Butler said.
Venture president Brooke Buchanan said the building should be used by the Billings performing arts community, not just Venture Theatre.
“By creating a performing arts center, we can generate revenue from a number of sources, including independent artists, outside booking agents, and as a rental facility with other nonprofit organizations in the community,” Buchanan said.
On Wednesday, Buchanan said that $68,200 has been raised. Venture Forward, a fundraiser that included four cabaret shows, was planned for Wednesday night and the Funky Bunch Fundraiser Extravaganza is set for Friday at 8 p.m.