Historic Theatre Relies on Tech Donations to Bring Art to Columbus
The Liberty Theatre opened in Columbus, Ohio, in 1925. Greats like Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, and the big bands of Duke Ellington all got their start here. It operated as a movie house and showed live theatre for 50 years. In 1974, however, it was shut down due to deterioration of the building. The theatre stood abandoned for years until it was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. Restoration began in 1994, and the Liberty Theatre reopened in 1996 as the first African-American arts institution and musical playhouse in Columbus.
The Liberty Theatre is now a Performing Arts Cultural Center for the entire community, hosting musical events and plays. It strives to offer affordable ticket prices to its community. But due to high costs of maintaining the building, ticket revenue rarely meets the production budgets. Even though raising its ticket prices would help, it's important to the theatre to keep prices low so that it can make the arts available to its entire community.
The theatre also offers dance and piano classes and provides tutoring in math, reading, science, and social studies. Teens can also take part in a Youth Leadership Council and a Mass Communications program. These programs are provided at no charge to community youth.
Through TechSoup, The Liberty Theatre received donations from Microsoft and Adobe. Using Adobe Audition 3, the theatre has edited music for its Christmas Concert. Volunteers tutor students using Microsoft Math. The organization has created flyers for its youth workshops, using Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Publisher and has used Expression Web 3 for its website.