Northlight gets state grant toward new Evanston site

A rendering of Northlight's planned new Evanston location.

Northlight Theatre officials today announced they've been allocated $927,500 in state funding toward construction of their planned new theater in downtown Evanston.

"Northlight is honored to be included as a line item appropriation in the new vertical Capital bill. This $927,500 appropriation confirms the economic impact that Northlight Theatre will bring to downtown Evanston. Our legislators understand the impact of the arts in our community—not only economically but as a quality of life issue," Northlight Executive Director Timothy J. Evans said in a statement. 

Evans said the new funding will give Northlight’s on-going capital campaign major momentum. 

Northlight recently signed an option agreement to purchase a building in downtown Evanston at 1012-1016 Church St., steps away from public transit and ample parking.

Northlight is developing plans to purchase the building by the end of the year, and to build a new theatre on the site. The new theatre will be a stand-alone, 2-3 story building. Northlight will continue to operate in its current location at the North Shore Center in Skokie through the end of the 2020-21 season.

According to a professional study by Hunden Strategic Partners, the economic impact of the new Northlight Theatre to downtown Evanston will be $56,000,000 in new spending, $644,000 new city tax revenues and 230 full-time equivalent jobs, all in the first five years. 

Now in its 44th season, the organization has mounted over 200 productions, including nearly 40 world premieres. Northlight has earned 207 Joseph Jefferson Award nominations and 36 Awards, as well as ten Edgerton Foundation for New Play Awards.

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