Fox Theatre Institute Helps Fuel Economic and Cultural Development in Georgia

From a recent Fox Theatre Institute (FTI) press release:

October 10, 2012 (ATLANTA GA) – Today, the Fox Theatre Institute (FTI), an Atlanta-based outreach program created by the Fox Theatre, announced its 2012-2013 restoration projects. The Institute will provide grants to three theatres in Georgia in an effort to help preserve historic buildings, revitalize arts programs, and strengthen local economies. In addition, FTI is launching The Georgia Historic Preservation Handbook, a collaborative effort between the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation and The Historic Preservation Division (HPD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to provide a current, comprehensive resource to promote the understanding and practice of historic preservation in Georgia.

According to Molly Fortune, Director of Restoration at the Fox Theatre, “We believe that helping struggling theatres open their doors will help revitalize a once-vibrant location in their cities. We see the long-term effects of thriving theatres as that catalyst for economic growth in their downtowns, which we hope will bring longevity to their cities, the state and the jobs these cities hold. The Fox was a struggling theatre at one time, but we survived and now have the knowledge to help other theatres become successful.”

The three new restoration projects include:

The Mars Theatre, Springfield, GA – The grant from FTI will help this theatre continue a multi-phase plan that includes rehabilitating the interior lobby and adding restrooms. The Mars has recently worked with a team of SCAD students to construct a 3-D model of the building and prepare documentation that will allow it to be nominated for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

Knox Theatre, Warrenton, GA – Bruce Green, Director of Tourism Product Development, has invested in improving Warrenton’s downtown district through the non-profit organization, “Hometown Warrenton,” and has conducted an economic feasibility study on the city using the restoration of the Knox as the catalyst for growth. Funding from FTI will be used for structural and electrical improvements that will enable the Knox to move forward with future renovations.

The Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts, Toccoa, GAFTI grant funding will allowthe City of Toccoa to commission an historic preservation plan which will provide a long-range vision for their theater restoration.

In addition to the preservation projects, FTI will also introduce The Georgia Historic Preservation Handbook, which will be available to anyone—from the average citizen to the advanced professional—who is looking to educate themselves on historic preservation. We identified a need for statewide education and aid in the area of preservation,” says Carmie McDonald, Program Manager for Fox Theatre Institute. “The goal of the handbook is to educate residents about historic preservation, the people that make it happen, and how anyone can join this vital movement.” The handbook is available at

About FTI

The Fox Theatre Institute (FTI) is a dynamic outreach program offering historic preservation expertise, consultation and education to performing arts venues in Georgia and the region. Created by Atlanta’s “Fabulous Fox” Theatre, an iconic attraction widely applauded for being a catalyst for positive change in the community, FTI pays it forward, helping other cultural institutions renew, reinvigorate and restore artistic vitality in their backyards and beyond. Keeping environmental and economic impact top of mind, FTI offers the financial assistance, restoration support and operations mentoring needed to leverage scarce resources and stimulate local economies. Not only that, but it keeps the artistic pulse of beloved communities beating for decades to come.

About the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation

Founded in 1973, the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation is one of the country’s largest statewide, nonprofit preservation organizations. The Trust is committed to preserving and enhancing Georgia’s communities and their diverse historic resources for the education and enjoyment of all. The Trust generates community revitalization by finding buyers for endangered properties acquired by its Revolving Fund and raises awareness of other endangered historic resources through an annual listing of Georgia’s “Places in Peril.” The Trust helps revitalize downtowns by providing design and technical assistance in 102 Georgia Main Street cities; trains Georgia’s teachers in 63 Georgia school systems to engage students in discovering state and national history through their local historic resources; and advocates for funding, tax incentives and other laws aiding preservation efforts. To learn more, visit

About the Historic Preservation Division (HPD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources

The Historic Preservation Division (HPD) of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources serves as Georgia’s state historic preservation office. Its mission is to promote the preservation and use of historic places for a better Georgia. HPD’s programs include archaeology protection and education, environmental review, grants, historic resource surveys, tax incentives, the National Register of Historic Places, community planning and technical assistance. The mission of the Department of Natural Resources is to sustain, enhance, protect and conserve Georgia’s natural, historic and cultural resources for present and future generations, while recognizing the importance of promoting the development of commerce and industry that utilizes sound environmental practices.

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