The process to build an addition to the Liberty Center Association for the Arts and renovate the current building has officially begun after a groundbreaking ceremony Monday afternoon.
The ceremony also included an announcement of a new donation to the project — local resident Betty Hopkins has committed $100,000 to the project. When Campaign Manager Ed Watkins began her introduction, he said Hopkins is a “great philanthropist, she’s just a very special person. She’s involved in every board I know in Sedalia, does everything that everything could possibly want done, she does it.”
After the ceremony, she told the Democrat her decision to become involved in the project was due to her history with the organization, and her desire to encourage more people to utilize the facility.
“I was on the original board in 1977, I was very active,” she said. “We started a theater with nothing. We did good.
“… I just want it to be a success,” she said of her decision to donate. “The more people involved in the community, the better. It’s an ongoing project and we need to keep it going.”
While some donors have designated their funding to specific aspects of the project, Hopkins’ donation will go into the general fund to be used wherever it is needed.
Those involved with “The Next Stage Capital Campaign” have been raising funds since December 2013 to create several art galleries at LCAA, renovate the theater stage and make the facility handicap accessible.
Many of the project’s contributors were on hand for Monday’s ceremony, including Joe Fischer and his wife, Gloria.
“I’m thrilled to be a part of it and I’m glad Sedalia is as generous as it is,” Joe Fischer said. “This facility is going to completely make our building ADA accessible, as well as help to further our commitment to making Sedalia an arts mecca.”
Contributors Bob and Barbara Hayden were also part of the groundbreaking ceremony.
“We just enjoy the opportunity to do what we’re doing on this project, it’s a nice thing for Sedalia and Sedalia’s been good to us so we give back to Sedalia,” Bob Hayden said.