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PTC receives $100k Grants to Green award

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BANGOR- Penobscot Theatre Company has received a $100,000 award from Grants to Green, a program jointly administered by The Maine Community Foundation, Maine Development Foundation and Efficiency Maine Grants to provide environmentally focused knowledge and funding to strengthen nonprofits. The theatre will use the grant to replace the antiquated oil-fired furnace at its historic home, the Bangor Opera House, and to attract matching funds to 'bring the theatre more fully into the 21st century,' according to Executive Director Mary Budd.

The full scope of the efficiency project includes insulating the upper walls of the auditorium, remedying water and air leaks, and purchasing state-of-the-art LED theatrical lighting, improvements estimated to cost more than $230,000.

'As sole owner and operator of the last remaining opera house in Bangor, we take our stewardship very seriously,' said Budd. 'We are committed to improving our audience's experience as well as the working conditions of our staff and visiting artists, while minimizing our impact on the environment.'

An energy audit conducted by Laurie Osher, Ph.D. of Osher Environment Systems last winter informed the company's planning, and Osher will continue to support the project as the theatre's designated Green Champion.

'We are extremely fortunate that Laurie is a theatre lover!' said Budd. 'She has been helping us reduce draftiness at the Opera House since 2011, and we've benefited tremendously from her experience and expertise.'

The planned lighting improvements reflect the dramatic advancement in lighting technology in recent years. 'We're excited to equip our designers with better tools to enhance our ability to tell complex, powerful stories on stage.'

The efficiency initiatives will result altogether in a reduction in energy usage of approximately one third and annual savings of more than $12,000.

Last spring, the theatre received a grant of $30,000 from the Quimby Family Foundation to offset the cost of upgrading the HVAC system. Efforts to secure additional funding are underway.

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