Theater Bits Blog – $10,000 Grant to Holly Theatre


For the 2014-2015 Preservation Grant, The Fox Theatre Institute (FTI) has awarded $10,000 to the Holly Theatre in Dahlonega, Ga. to allow for restoration, preservation and future planning of the beloved community theater.

Funds from the grant will focus on masonry for three sides of the building and an environmentally-conscious retrofit of Holly Theatre’s original marquee. The sign will be painted and fixed to feature new LED bulbs. The entire project will take up to eight weeks and will be completed by June 30, 2015.

“The Holly Theatre has a long history of being an economic engine in the downtown Dahlonega area and we are excited about the opportunity to help boost their arts program,” said Molly Fortune, Director of Restoration and Operations at the Fox  “When the Fox was in trouble 40 years ago, the Atlanta community rallied together to ‘Save the Fox’. Now we have the knowledge and resources to help other venues in Georgia not only restore their buildings, but also strengthen their communities.”

This is not the first time the Fox Theatre has worked with the Holly Theatre. The Fox assisted with strategic planning and has been a large resource for the theatre for more than five years.

“The Holly Theatre is one of Dahlonega’s most precious cultural treasures, and its impact on the downtown business economy is enormous,” said Joel Cordle, who oversees Dahlonega’s Main Street program and is executive director of the Dahlonega Downtown Development Authority (DDA). “Private and public support for the Holly has been tremendous during the past year. This new infusion of funding support has come at a critical time. The building had numerous repair and restoration issues that needed immediate attention. The Fox Theatre Institute’s grant support helped leverage other private and public funding to help make these essential repairs possible.”

As a nonprofit, the Fox Theatre’s mission is to achieve long-term sustainability, so it can be shared with generations to come. In 2008, the Fox launched FTI, a nonprofit arm offering preservation and operations advice to reinvigorate arts venues in Georgia. Since inception, FTI has collaborated on 10 projects across Georgia, totaling more than $332,000 in community investments.

“The Fox Theatre Institute is one way we can encourage involvement in the arts and positively impact the cultural landscape of Georgia,” said Carmie McDonald, Fox Theatre Community Engagement Manager. “This is especially important this year because of our yearlong 40th anniversary campaign. The thought that the Fox could have been demolished 40 years ago is heartbreaking; with FTI, we hope to help more historic theaters stay relevant and thriving for future generations.”

In addition to the Fox Theatre’s grant, the Holly Theatre received a $20,000 grant from Georgia Tourism and Georgia Council for the Arts (GCA); both are divisions of the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD).

“With this funding, each community is able to increase public access to high quality arts and cultural offerings that bring communities together and attract tourists,” said GCA executive director Karen Paty.

For more information and to find out how you can help, visit or For more information on the 40th anniversary campaign, please visit