Speaking to business leaders at a Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce-sponsored luncheon this week, Christine Gradl Seitz, the executive and artistic director for the Duluth Playhouse, asked this question: “Why does this project matter?”
She, of course, was referring to the recently completed, $30.5 million historic renovation of the NorShor Theatre in downtown Duluth. Her playhouse is its primary tenant and manager. After the luncheon inside the ballroom at Greysolon Plaza, she led attendees through a new skywalk link to the theater for a tour.
And she provided plenty of answers to her own question.
“This project matters for a variety of reasons. It brings economic stability and growth and development to our downtown,” she said. “There is a difference the NorShor can make for our economy.”
“It also will provide a much-needed, mid-sized venue for the arts groups in our town — a very desirable venue. It goes back to the feasibility study (we did before launching the project). We interviewed the arts groups so that we could understand what they needed, so we could build this in a way that can serve them. This mid-sized venue has state-of-the-art equipment that can support our local arts group and regional and national tours. This is important. Many of the tours looking for a venue want a venue that is equipped. …”